Carl Sagan’s docu-series “Cosmos” is being brought back by Fox Network. Seth MacFarlane, the Family Guy creator will collaborate with the original makers of the series to bring it alive again.
The 13-part “Cosmos-A space odyssey” will launch in 2013, according to Fox. The host will be astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Sagan's widow, Ann Druyan will be writer/producer.
The original “Cosmos” with Sagan was first broadcast in 1980 and remains one of the most globally successful American public TV series. It has been seen by an estimated 700 million viewers.
National Geographic Channel will air a same-night encore of the episodes following their broadcast on Fox.
“It doesn’t really feel like a natural fit on Fox,” the network’s entertainment president, Kevin Reilly, acknowledged. “But we just like the challenge of it. ... Will it be our biggest hit? Probably not. But I think we can have real success with it, and a long tail and a big cultural impact.”
Matching MacFarlane to the science odyssey may not be so much of a mismatch. According to Reilly, MacFarlane will bring in the entertainment element to the show.
The original series delved into the nature of life- earthly and extraterrestrial, the universe, all from the perspective of Sagan's "personal voyage" of scientific discovery. It brought the mysteries of the universe down to a layman’s level of understanding.
The book based on the series is still No. 1 on Amazon’s astronomy best-seller list.
Tyson , who is director of New York's Hayden Planetarium as well as a seasoned author and TV host, will not be aping Carl Sagan but bringing his own element to it. “I cannot be Carl Sagan. I can only be myself," he told msnbc.msn.com
"What people remember the most about 'Cosmos,' and what it did best, and what I don't think has been duplicated, is the effort to convey the meaning of science to a citizen of planet Earth," Tyson said. “Cosmos' brought science to the public in a way that meant something to their relationship to each other, to the world and to the universe."
According to the producers, the new series will tell “the story of how human beings began to comprehend the laws of nature and find our place in space and time. It will take viewers to other worlds and travel across the universe for a vision of the cosmos on the grandest scale. The most profound scientific concepts will be presented with stunning clarity, uniting skepticism and wonder, and weaving rigorous science with the emotional and spiritual into a transcendent experience.”
It was a chance meeting between Seth MacFarlane and Ana Druyan which kicked off the idea of another “Cosmos”, reports Deadline.com. MacFarlane is self-confessed science geek.
“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 said to Deadline.
Fox has another big-budget sci-fi series “Terra Nova,” which has struggled with multiple delays in getting to the air.