Tiftarea TV

April 20, 2014

The Tifton Gazette - Tiftarea TV

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By Jacqueline Spendlove TV Media W ith so many movies and TV shows being rebooted these days, one wonders if origi- nality is dwindling in the enter- tainment industry. Fox, however, is currently air- ing a follow-up that definitely warrants its second time in the sun. "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" is a scientific docu- mentary offshoot of the 1980 Emmy-winning series "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage," which was presented by astronomer, astro- physicist and cosmologist Carl Sagan. The new series pre- miered March 9, with a new episode airing Sunday, April 20, on Fox. "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" got off to a strong start with roughly 8.5 million viewers tuning in for the pre- miere. No doubt this is largely due to the immense popularity of its predecessor. The original "Cosmos," which aired on PBS, is widely recognized as a major milestone for science-based television, with its use of cut- ting-edge special effects and its appeal to all audiences — not just those with scientific lean- ings. Seen by more than 500 million people across more than 60 countries, it remains one of the network's highest-rated pro- grams. Fox's version will loosely fol- low the format of "A Personal Voyage," with 13 episodes, a similar storytelling approach and certain recognizable ele- ments, such as the "Spaceship of the Imagination" and the "Cosmic Calendar." It explores the foundation of science, cov- ering such topics as the scope of time, beginning with the Big Bang; natural selection and evo- lution; astronomy and astrology; the nature of the speed of light, gravity, black holes and more. Science-based content aside, the series aims to interest just about anyone. As Ann Druyan, Sagan's widow and a co-creator of both series, explains in an interview with Canada.com: "We weren't trying to preach to the converted. We wanted to evoke in people, even those people who might be hostile to science, a sense of wonder. ... If you have a beating heart, you will respond to 'Cosmos.' " While the two series do share certain aspects, "A Spacetime Odyssey" also contains many unique and revamped elements, including spectacular computer- generated graphics and updated information that includes the past 34 years' scientific discov- eries and advancements. "The ambition and scope of 'A Spacetime Odyssey' is unlike anything seen before," writes Alex Strachan for Canada.com, "including the original Cosmos, which Druyan and [host Neil deGrasse] Tyson have vowed not to emulate or repeat." As for the man presenting the program, Sagan left behind some very large shoes to fill. His contributions to the world of science are extensive and include more than 600 pub- lished scientific papers and more than 20 books penned. Taking up the "Cosmos" torch now is astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Tyson's own career path has been heavily inspired by Sagan, whom he described in a 2004 interview with Daniel Simon as "very inspirational and a most power- ful influence. Dr. Sagan was as great as the universe, an effec- tive mentor." Judging by his résumé, Tyson is about as apt a replacement for Sagan as you can find. Currently the director of the Hayden Planetarium and a research associate in astrophys- ics at the American Museum of Natural History, Tyson also host- ed PBS's science program "Nova ScienceNOW" and has been a frequent guest on "The Daily Show," "The Colbert Report" and "Jeopardy!" His interest in astronomy having taken hold when he was nine, he began giving lectures on the subject as young as 15 and was editor-in- chief of his high school's "Physical Science Journal." As a student, Tyson was lucky Wishbone Restaurant 2 x 6.5" TV April 20 - 26, 2014 TIFTAREA TIFTAREA Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" SUNDAY DAYTIME APRIL 20, 2014 10 AM 10:30 11 AM 11:30 12 PM 12:30 1 PM 1:30 2 PM 2:30 3 PM 3:30 4 PM 4:30 5 PM 5:30 6 PM 6:30 BROADCAST CHANNELS

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