Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cosmos Reboot (plus: why can't The Science Channel find room for science?)

Neil deGrasse Tyson's reboot of Carl Sagan's classic "Cosmos" series appears this weekend. Alan Sepinwall reviews it enthusiastically (here's a Q&A with Tyson about the series, and here's Tyson's much-loved StarTalk Radio podcast)

It will be airing on multiple network, but the word is to TIVO it on a channel other than FOX (its home network) which is rumored to be making fatter commercial cuts.

Also: the original Carl Sagan series will be rebroadcast this weekend on National Geographic Channel (here's a schedule). It's also appearing on NatGeo's HD channel, which gives me high hopes they've cleaned it up. Definitely worth recording!

Speaking of science on TV....

Science Channel is, as you know, an oxymoron. Real science is way too niche-ish for a mainstream cable network. So they program lots of shiny junk with some tenuous link to tech (which, in the public mind, is identical with science). What I don't understand is why Science Channel doesn't take their weakest programming slot (Mondays from 6 to 8, or Sundays at 11 or something) and devote it to real, actual science?

Public radio has a valuable property in their "Talk of the Nation Science Friday" (aka "SciFri"), which is devoted to real, undiluted science. It's niche for sure, but a substantial number of people within that niche tune into that show, and would surely do the same if the Science channel could stake out a narrow slot for actual science.

It would cost them next to nothing. I really don't understand why they don't do it.

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