It almost sounds like a joke. Fox has greenlit a new sequel to Carl Sagan's 1980 science series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, and ordered 13 episodes of Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey, which will premiere in 2013 in prime time. The kicker is that Seth MacFarlane is behind the deal.
Yes, that Seth MacFarlane, the one who created Family Guy and recently closed another deal with Fox to reboot The Flintstones as an animated series.
The new documentary series comes from MacFarlane, along with Sagan's widow, writer/producer Ann Druyan, and astrophysicist Steven Soter. And they've nabbed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to host, with the National Geographic Channel co-producing.
"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," said MacFarlane. "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?"
According to the producers, Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey will explore "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."
Yep, sounds a whole lot like Sagan's original Cosmos, which is considered to be PBS's most successful series of all time, with approximately 700 million people tuning in around the globe at one time or another.
We're thrilled to see Cosmos revived, especially with the charismatic Tyson as the host. But in prime time on Fox? And while we think the talented MacFarlane can do anything—after all, he's got three shows on the air with The Family Guy, The Cleveland Show and American Dad—but a documentary series about space?