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When it comes to the world of late night TV, a host’s skill set normally revolves around his or her ability to make people laugh. But for Nat Geo’s first foray into post-primetime, they went with someone who could amuse people as well as blow their minds with the ever-amazing world of science: astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. I’m already won over.
Star Talk is partially based on Tyson’s podcast of the same name, which brings together science and pop culture for always interesting and informative stories. For the late night show, Tyson will be welcoming celebrities, comedians and scientists to discuss all things outer space and the universe. I think we can already expect Chris Hardwick and Wil Wheaton to be on the first episode, right? Maybe a hologram of Carl Sagan? I’m really hoping Tyson uses this series for some movie debunking as well, which he’s been known to do for science-heavy features.
The series’ episodes will be taped at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, in front of a live studio audience. That’s almost the complete opposite of the last series that Tyson was involved with, Fox’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which was mostly just Tyson in front of a bunch of green screens with gorgeous shots of space on them. That show, which never quite soared very high in the ratings, was spearheaded by Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane, so I bet we can expect him to make his way to Star Talk at some point as well.
That isn’t the only series Nat Geo is bringing to audiences, though. The docu-comedy miniseries History of the World will present a humorous and animation-friendly approach to educational topics, like the evolution of man and the origins of civilization. It’s being put together by the producers behind Silicon Valley, King of the Hill and Parks and Recreation. There’s no telling how many episodes it’ll end up being, but it sounds good to me.
And then there’s the Impossible Factual-produced science series Dino Autopsy, which will smash biology and paleontology together for what seems like a fun exploration of dinosaurs. And finally, the miniseries American Genius, which focuses on competitive rivalries between the brainiacs of history, including Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates and Nikolai Tesla vs. Thomas Edison. The eight-part series will use both reenactments and expert interviews to show audiences how some of these idea-fueled headbuttings worked out.
Star Talk, History of the World and Dino Autopsy will all premiere later in 2015, with American Genius aiming for a spring debut. Which one are you guys most excited about?