Cosmos Studios President and Executive producer Mitchell Cannold (left) and Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.
San Diego – National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) announced at Comic-Con the global launch of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, the new series from executive producer/ writer Ann Druyan and executive producer Seth MacFarlane. NGCI will align its international premiere with the series launch on FOX and National Geographic Channel in the U.S. in spring 2014.
MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad) has teamed with Carl Sagan’s original creative collaborators – executive producer/ writer Druyan and co-writer and astronomer Steven Soter – to conceive a 13-part series, combining drama, fantasy and natural reality, as a successor to the Emmy Award- and Peabody Award-winning original series.
Executive producer Brannon Bragaserves as the primary director of the series, with cinematographer Bill Pope also directing. The new Cosmos will feature animated sequences with guest voices from MacFarlane and an array of talent to be announced.
“There’s never been a more important time for Cosmos to re-emerge than right now. I want to make this so entertaining, and so flashy, and so exciting that people who have no interest in science will watch just because it’s a spectacle,” said MacFarlane.
“It’s a thrill to take the Ship of the Imagination out for another spin,” added Druyan. “We are going places none of us have ever been before, using capabilities that just didn’t exist back when we were making the original series. All that, and yet it feels so much like the first time.”
“For 125 years, National Geographic has been at the very forefront of scientific research, investigation and adventure.Cosmos represents a stunning, epic and transformational journey into a new age of exploration, espousing the core values that are an inherent part of the National Geographic Channel,” said Ward Platt, CEO of NGCI and COO of Fox International Channels. “We are thrilled to work with Cosmos Studios and FOX on the rebirth of one of the most powerful and revolutionising science series of all time.”
“Working with our partners at FOX and NGCI, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is truly going to be a global television event unlike anything we have done before,” added David Lyle, CEO National Geographic Channel U.S. and Global Programming. “With Seth’s passion, Ann’s creative force, and Neil’s tremendous appeal, the new Cosmos is going to mark a turning point in nonfiction television, just as the original did over 30 years ago.”
The host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (2nd from right), at its global launch in Comic-Con
The original Cosmos: A Personal Voyage was a watershed moment in nonfiction television, premiering in 1980. For 33 years, the series has remained in ongoing worldwide distribution, seen by more than 750 million people in more than 175 countries. In the U.S., the series was the most highly rated public television series at its time of broadcast, and held that record for a decade. It was also the recipient of three primetime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.
The series is produced by Cosmos Studios, the Ithaca, NY-based company Ann Druyan co-founded in 2000, and Fuzzy Door Productions, MacFarlane’s company. Druyan and Steven Soter are the series’ writers. Druyan, MacFarlane, Cosmos Studios President Mitchell Cannold and Brannon Braga (Star Trek franchise, 24) will executive-produce the series. Jason Clark (Ted, 42, A Million Ways to Die in the West) produces.