In billions and billions of years, we never would have expected to be writing the following sentence: FOX is developing an update to astronomer Carl Sagan‘s landmark series “Cosmos” — and Seth MacFarlane is producing it.
But it’s true. The network on Friday (Aug. 5) announced plans to air a 13-part docu-series called “Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey” in 2013. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will host, and the creator of “Family Guy” will executive produce it with Sagan’s partners on the 1980 PBS show, Steven Soter and Ann Druyan (who is also Sagan’s widow).
“Never more than at this moment in the modern era have we needed a profound reminder of the colossally important and exciting role that science, space exploration and the human quest for knowledge must continue to play in our development as a species,” MacFarlane says. “We should be vigorously exploring the solar system by now, and who better to inspire us to get there than Ann Druyan, Steven Soter, Neil deGrasse Tyson and, of course, Carl Sagan.”
FOX Entertainment president Kevin Reilly says the project is “admittedly on the periphery of our brand,” but he’s excited about it nonetheless.
“This is a golden opportunity to introduce ‘Cosmos’ to a new generation,” Reilly says. “We believe this can have the same massive cultural impact that the original series delivered, and we’re going to use all of our resources — on-air and company-wide — to help bring that to fruition.”
National Geographic Channel (which like FOX is a News Corp. property) is co-producing the series and will air same-night encores of each episode.
Here’s the opening to the original series: