For astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the scientific exploration of our universe is one amazing voyage, and so too has been his run on the new “Cosmos.”
As host of Fox’s science-themed “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” Tyson has carried readers back and forth through time, revisited scientists during pivotal discoveries and introduced a new generation to the wonder of space and science. The show debuted in March and airs its 13th and final episode tonight (June 8).
"We end on a note where yes, this is a journey. It’s a look at how far it’s come, look at how much further it can go," Tyson told reporters Friday. “It’s our solar curiosity, if you will, that will keep that pumped. Without it, I don’t know that the country or the world or culture or civilization can go anywhere.”
"Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" is a 21st-century reboot of the iconic 1980 PBS series "Cosmos: A Personal Journey" hosted by the famed astronomer popularizer of science Carl Sagan, who died in 1996. Like that original series, the new show is led by Ann Druyan, Sagan’s widow and longtime partner, who serves as co-writer and executive producer.
But there has been one major difference. This new “Cosmos” has been big. Unlike the 1980 series, which aired on public television, the new “Cosmos” aired Sunday nights on Fox, then again on Monday nights on the National Geographic Channel. The series was beamed out to 181 countries and launched with a tie-in app for mobile devices and well as a vigorous social media campaign.
"I have a feeling that the reaction to the series has exceeded my wildest fantasies," Druyan told Space.com Friday during a conference call. She added that she was stunned last Sunday (June 1), when "Cosmos" came in neck and neck with "The Bachelorette," nearly win the night in ratings with an episode about global warming on Earth.
"I have a feeling of just tremendous satisfaction that Fox and Nat Geo were brave enough to put this show on primetime, which hasn’t happened on a commercial broadcast network such as Fox in recent memory," Druyan said.