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Friday, February 28, 2014

New Cosmos Series on the Horizon

Written by Jon Williams

In 1980, famed astronomer Carl Sagan teamed up with PBS to create Cosmos, a 13-episode series that explored a number of scientific themes, particularly about the universe and our place in it. It was written with the assistance of astrophysicist Steven Soter and cosmologist Ann Druyan, who would soon become Sagan’s wife. Sagan served as host of the series, which is still the most-watched series in PBS’s history.

In a field predicated on exploration and new discoveries, the 34 intervening years have brought a wealth of new knowledge. Now that knowledge is set to be brought forth, as Cosmos is being reimagined into a new series. Debuting next weekend, on Sunday, March 9, and being broadcast simultaneously on ten Fox networks, Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey will present nine episodes. Unfortunately, Sagan passed away in 1996; the new show will be hosted by astrophysicist NeildeGrasse Tyson.

The new series is produced by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, who was a fan of the original Cosmos series and wanted to get involved with something outside of his usual range. Sagan’s widow Ann Druyan is involved as well, as she was with the original. Tyson, Druyan, and MacFarlane will attempt to inject the series with the same kind of broad appeal that made the original such a hit, exploring scientific concepts in an understandable and entertaining way. Like the first series, music will play a big part; the score will be written by film composer Alan Silvestri (the original used music by Vangelis and a number of other artists).

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