Following the success of his 2014 Cosmos, the famous astrophysicist and science communicator just nabbed a weekly late-night series for National Geographic Channel called Star Talk. The format and name have existed for some time online as a podcast, where Tyson regularly talks and debates science and major topics concerning it, often featuring celebrities, comedians and scientists as guests.
“Cosmos allowed us to share the awesome power of the universe with a global audience in ways that we never thought possible,” said Tyson. “To be able to continue to spread wonder and excitement through Star Talk, which is a true passion project for me, is beyond exciting. And National Geographic Channel is the perfect home as we continue to explore the universe.”
“This is kind of low-risk, I think, for National Geographic,” Tyson told the crowd at the Television Critics Association press tour. “Star Talk exists as a thriving podcast right now.”
According to Tyson, the show will be faithful to his podcast’s format with some obvious small changes to accommodate the TV audience. For instance, he’s been quoted as saying it might be possible that Bill Nye will have a platform for a minute-long rant in each show, much as Andy Rooney had for many years on CBS’ 60 Minutes.
The weekly series, inspired both in name and context by longtime radio show Car Talk, will tape before a live studio audience from the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City, where Tyson is based.
“After the global success of Cosmos as one of the most watched series in our history, we are thrilled to be partnering with Neil again on Star Talk — his wildly popular podcast that transcends science and crosses over into pop culture — once again satisfying the audience’s passion for adventure and exploration,” added National Geographic Channel CEO Courteney Monroe. “We continue to bolster our programming with series and event specials that are brand definitional, and Star Talk is the perfect opportunity to offer our audience an edgy, late-night alternative with the credibility and authenticity that are the hallmarks of our network.”
Tyson and his guests will discuss such topics as space travel, extraterrestrial life, the Big Bang, the future of Earth and breaking news on the cosmic front. Of course, expect a lot of rants poking fun at science haters. The show is slated to premiere in April, 2015.
“We orchestrate a conversation around them that constantly detours into science and all the ways science has influenced that person’s livelihood. In this way we bring science to people who didn’t know they liked science, or maybe thought that they didn’t like science.
This is definitely one late-night show I’m going to watch!