TV Show ‘Cosmos’ Gets An Epic Reboot This Sunday

by Elizabeth Howell on March 7, 2014

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Sunday is going to be a once-in-a-generation moment. For those of us who were too young to remember the original Cosmos (writer puts hand up) or those who are eager to see the classic 1980 Carl Sagan series updated with discoveries since then, we’re all in luck. A new series starring astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson is premiering on Fox.

NASA hosted a sneak preview of the series at several NASA centers, and the early reviews on Twitter indicated a heck of a lot of excited people in the audience. In the video above, you can watch the Q&A with the main players after the premiere concluded.

“Watching Cosmos, I saw a Brooklyn-born researcher pull back the curtain on a world of seemingly dense scientific concepts, which, with the flair of P.T. Barnum, he managed to present in ways that made them accessible to those of us lacking a degree in mathematics or physics,” Seth MacFarlane, the executive producer of Cosmos (who is best known for creating Family Guy), said in a statement.

Poster for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

Poster for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

“He was able to make a discussion of the most distant stellar objects suddenly become relevant to our small, day-to-day lives. And he did so with such obvious passion, enthusiasm, and love for the knowledge he imparted that even those who had little interest in science found it impossible not to want to go along for the ride.”

The original Cosmos series premiered in 1980 and won three primetime Emmys. Sagan — who was involved in NASA missions such as the Voyagers — combined his worktime experiences with more meditative thoughts on the cosmos, the role of intelligence and the future of the universe. It’s still easy to purchase the original series, despite its age, so we’re sure Fox is hoping for the same kind of longevity with the reboot.

deGrasse Tyson, for those who don’t know, is the engaging director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York. Like Sagan, he’s a New York City-based popularizer of science who appears regularly on shows that aren’t necessarily science focused — such as The Colbert Report, where he has spoken several times and is often cited as one of Colbert’s most-returning guests, if not the most returning one.

We’ll be eagerly watching the series as it comes out. For more information, you can check out Fox’s website.

About 

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

theodorejudah March 7, 2014 at 3:41 PM

I have high hopes for this new Cosmos. Will the people that need to see it actually watch? We shall see.

Adrian Morgan March 7, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Note that internationally, this is merely a dress rehearsal.

In Australia, Cosmos will be broadcast on the National Geographic channel, and will therefore only be seen by the minuscule percentage of Australians who receive that. I don’t have the figures, but trust me, Australians who pay for extra TV channels are a very select audience.

I’m sure it will be bought and screened by a free-to-air channel at some point in the future. But until that happens, it pays to remember that it won’t reach a large audience here, and will not yet have fulfilled its promise to follow in the footsteps of the original series.

I’m not complaining, so long as it’s shown to everyone eventually, but it’s worth remembering that this is a dress rehearsal before getting carried away with the partying.

forj March 7, 2014 at 10:22 PM

I agree that this should be seen by as many people in the world as possible, but I am sure there are many other countries other than Australia who will be unable to view the show as well. Ideally they would post the episodes online after each one airs. The daily show posts all of their shows online for everyone to see. Admittedly I am unaware of the way that even something like the daily show’s online presence is experienced by the international community – but I know that there are a lot of frustrations with obtaining access to certain programs that people want to see in areas where they aren’t available. I would recommend looking into something like project free tv. Can’t say how it will work in Australia or of this show will be on there but worth a shot.

*also. A dress rehearsal for what? It’s a tv show. Not like this is going to change the world or something, no matter how many people see it.

Adrian Morgan March 8, 2014 at 7:36 AM

All I’m saying is that the non-stop hype over the last few weeks about how the magic of Cosmos is about to be experienced by a whole new generation is … somewhat overblown.

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