11:57 am - 02/27/2014

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey to be biggest rollout of TV series in history

Fox & Nat Geo To Preview ‘Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey’ At Inaugural White House Film Festival

Seth MacFarlane’s passion project will get an unprecedented global launch next month, but first it has a date in D.C. Fox and National Geographic Channel said today they will screen a preview of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on Friday as part of the inaugural White House Film Festival. Writer-director-exec producer Ann Druyan will introduce the screening. The 13-part series, a sequel to Carl Sagan’s influential Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980), premieres March 9 on multiple Fox Network Group outlets then continues on subsequent Sundays on Fox on with expanded editions Mondays on Nat Geo. In other White House film fest news, the American Film Institute said today it will collaborate on the event, which screens winning short films created by K-12 students. President Obama will deliver the opening remarks Friday to a crowd of more than 100 students, teachers and parents in the East Room.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Premieres In a Three Network Television Event

More than three decades after the debut of "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage," Carl Sagan’s stunning and iconic exploration of the universe, MacFarlane teamed with Sagan’s original creative collaborators to conceive "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," which is a 13-part series premiering on Global Television, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD on Sunday, March 9th at 9pm. The series continues Sundays at 9pm on Global and Mondays at 10pm on National Geographic Channel.

"Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" is the saga of how humankind discovered the laws of nature and found their coordinates in space and time. The series brings to life never-before-told stories of the heroic quest for knowledge, transporting viewers to new worlds and across the universe for a vision of the cosmos on the grandest – and the smallest – scale. Renowned astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson, the recipient of 19 honorary doctorates and People magazine’s “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive,” hosts the series.

Keeping its eyes on the skies, National Geographic Channel is participating in a worldwide television event that takes viewers beyond the stratosphere – "Live from Space" is a spectacular, groundbreaking two-hour special from Arrow Media that broadcasts live from the International Space Station (ISS) and Mission Control in Houston on Friday, March 14th at 8pm. With unprecedented access to and footage from the ISS and Mission Control, National Geographic Channel goes into orbit with astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata from the ISS, with celebrated journalist, producer and television personality Soledad O’Brien hosting live from Mission Control in Houston.

The epic documentary "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" reflects the unusual partnership of "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Tyson raves about MacFarlane's skill as executive producer and Hollywood insider. The 13-part series, hosted by Tyson, will play at 9 p.m. Sundays, starting March 9, on Fox.

"I was skeptical that Seth would succeed in getting Fox interested," Tyson said. "My sense is we had an audience with the suits because Seth is a major property of Fox. They warmed up to it and what significance it could have in their portfolios. Seth joked that Fox needed something to show the FCC every time they're brought up on charges."

Before the TV premiere, "Cosmos" will receive 10 screenings Tuesday around the country, including at the Kennedy Space Center. The free screening starts at 8 p.m. in the Rocket Garden at the Visitor Complex. Doors open at 7, and a live question-and-answer with producers, based in Los Angeles, begins at 9. Fans may RSVP to www.cosmosrsvp.com.

Tyson stressed that this "Cosmos" is a continuation, not a remake, of Carl Sagan's landmark 1980 series. Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, said the new series surpassed his expectations because of the production values.

"We had access to creative people who had been working in films," he said. "Here they are with the tools of Hollywood and bringing them to the story of the universe. A depth of wonder and awe runs through the series. I think it affects you spiritually."

Director of photography Bill Pope worked on the "Matrix" trilogy. Director Brannon Braga's credits include "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "24." Composer Alan Silvestri scored "Forrest Gump."

The camera becomes a participant in the storytelling. Animation, special effects and clever devices (a cosmic calendar, a ship of imagination) help Tyson tell the sweeping story.

MacFarlane suggested animation techniques and offered script suggestions. "He's made tons of television and movies, and he's science literate," Tyson said. "He's perceptive about what would work in the heart and mind of an audience. As the scripts were prepared, he gave us very perceptive comments about pacing and information."

But MacFarlane's Hollywood connections were most crucial. "His greatest contribution is he brought us to Fox," Tyson said. "We were shopping it around to the usual suspects where you would take a science documentary."

"Cosmos" will receive a major roll-out March 9 across 10 networks in the Fox Networks Group. The series will be available across 220 channels in 181 countries. After the U.S. premiere, the series will air at 9 p.m. Sundays on Fox and at 10 p.m. Mondays on National Geographic Channel.

The premiere ends with Tyson's poignant tribute to Sagan. The world-renowned Sagan invited Tyson, then a 17-year-old from the Bronx, to spend a day with him in Ithaca, N.Y., where Sagan taught at Cornell University.

Sagan's generosity and thoughtfulness inspired Tyson as a scientist and a human being, he said. Executive producer Ann Druyan, who is Sagan's widow, was moved by Tyson's story of the meeting, Tyson said.

"Everyone agreed there should be something about that in the program, because one of the themes we're trying to capture is 'here is a torch you pass from one generation to the next,' " Tyson added. "I got a little teary-eyed remembering that moment. I said to myself, 'Wow, if everybody behaved that way, it would be a different world.' "

trailer source
promo source
neil and seth source
cosmic calendar source
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fromyourashes 27th-Feb-2014 06:05 pm (UTC)

...I'll watch it anyway, but I'll seethe during the commercials.
maishi_obuki 27th-Feb-2014 07:20 pm (UTC)
he loves science. He's funded other things. The whole world is a gray area.
there is no clear cut of what/how a person should be/do based on their attitude and works.
fromyourashes 27th-Feb-2014 08:36 pm (UTC)
Yes, and human beings often display a variety of emotions when something they love is mixed up with something they loathe. That's ok, too. But thanks for the lesson on human behavior and for telling me about this fascinating concept called the "gray area". I'll have to look into it some more.
jennyherself 27th-Feb-2014 06:10 pm (UTC)
Moment of silence for King Carl. *tear*

I still have this as my favourite quote on Facebook lol:
"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves."
vivalakeyana 27th-Feb-2014 06:28 pm (UTC)
Great quote.
nene718 27th-Feb-2014 11:56 pm (UTC)
diamond_dust06 28th-Feb-2014 12:43 am (UTC)
My mom read this at my wedding:

All that you see, all that we can see, exploded out of a star billions of years ago, and the particles slowly arranged themselves into living things, including all of us. We are made of star stuff. We are the mechanism by which the universe can comprehend itself. The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth. We should remain grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. The sum of all our evolution, our thinking and our accomplishments is love.
cherie_b 28th-Feb-2014 03:47 am (UTC)
Here's my favorite. From Pale Blue Dot:

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam".
tres_francais 27th-Feb-2014 06:10 pm (UTC)
I wish it wasn't so over-the-top.
proleptical 27th-Feb-2014 06:12 pm (UTC)
want want want!

also does anyone have any suggestions for good sciece/space podcasts beside neil's?
vanishingbee 27th-Feb-2014 06:29 pm (UTC)
quirks and quarks by the cbc-- it's cross-discipline, but very much up-to date with recent papers and findings in the science community.

also ontd_science, it's not updated often but I always find that people post cool things.

Edited at 2014-02-27 06:32 pm (UTC)
transientv 27th-Feb-2014 06:15 pm (UTC)

Yesss I LOVED Carl Sagan and his ~spaceship of the imagination~
I love NdGT. Don't love Seth McFarlane but eh.
kevonmartini10 27th-Feb-2014 06:19 pm (UTC)
I still can't believe Seth is doing this
shannenb 27th-Feb-2014 06:36 pm (UTC)
It's not too surprising, he's a huge fan of Carl Sagan. He personally funded the Carl Sagan archive at the Library of Congress so that the public would have access to Carl's papers.
complisult 27th-Feb-2014 07:42 pm (UTC)
Man, it's irritating when people I hate do good things. Ha.
ladymusashi 27th-Feb-2014 06:25 pm (UTC)
It looks fantastic. I don't care who is behind it. Well done for bringing this back.
edie 27th-Feb-2014 06:36 pm (UTC)
vivalakeyana 27th-Feb-2014 06:26 pm (UTC)
qween_frostine 27th-Feb-2014 06:27 pm (UTC)
I'm so excited for this, I don't even care.
vanishingbee 27th-Feb-2014 06:28 pm (UTC)
idgi, why is this a big deal? this looks like almost all the space documentaries I've ever seen
sprinklebell 27th-Feb-2014 06:30 pm (UTC)
It's a successor to the Cosmos series by Carl Sagan in the 80s. It was really popular at the time and now. It attracted a lot of people who wouldn't normally be interested in astronomy.
vanishingbee 27th-Feb-2014 06:31 pm (UTC)
so basically they're marketing the same stuff we've been seeing for years in a slightly different way, and people who weren't paying attention now are/are more likely to.

basically curiosity v.2.0 lmao

"we did it before, but this time, you'll watch it!"
annadraper 27th-Feb-2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
it's not a documentary. it's a television series on a network that's being simulcast on multiple channels. perhaps you should read things more thoroughly before leaping to inform everyone how many more movies you watch than others.
phallus 27th-Feb-2014 06:32 pm (UTC)
I'm excited for this!!

Did anyone read the report about NASA finding like 700 new exoplanets - whether they're still there now is the question.
no_urges 27th-Feb-2014 06:39 pm (UTC)
wow, i'm pretty impressed with seth for this. science literacy/education in the general public is sometimes pretty laughable, so it's cool that he and neil and everyone else involved are bringing this back, and with such optimistic goals (not that i don't think they're hoping it'll be a financial success, too).

hopefully it turns out well.
mwffj 27th-Feb-2014 06:41 pm (UTC)
motherfucking here for this
arainymist 27th-Feb-2014 06:48 pm (UTC)
My nerdy ass self is so excited for this
casiocasio 27th-Feb-2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
hopefully i'll remember to check it out
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