International Premiere to Align with U.S. Launch on FOX and National Geographic Channel U.S. to Make for Largest Global Effort in NGC History
SAN DIEGO, July 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) announced today 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. Internationally, the series will premiere exclusively on National Geographic Channel in 170 countries and 48 languages early next year. NGCI will align its international premiere with the series launch on FOX and National Geographic Channel in the United States next spring.
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 stunning natural reality, that will serve as a successor to the legendary Emmy® Award- and Peabody Award-winning original series.
Hosted by world-renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the series aspires to awaken a global audience to the wonders of the universe, as revealed by the awesome power of the scientific perspective. Executive producer Brannon Braga serves 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.
COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY will invent new modes of scientific storytelling to reveal the grandeur of the universe and re-invent celebrated elements of the original series, including the Cosmic Calendar and the Ship of the Imagination. Uniting skepticism and wonder, and weaving rigorous science with visual, emotional and spiritual elements, it will be a transcendent experience – a vision of the cosmos on the grandest scale we know.
"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 National Geographic Channels International 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 revolutionizing 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."
One of the world's most beloved science series, the original "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" was a watershed moment in nonfiction television, changing the way audiences were able to look beyond our own world when it premiered 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 United States, 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, Mr. 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. "Like" COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/COSMOSonTV. Follow the series on Twitter @COSMOSonTV and join the discussion at #cosmos.
About The Series' Creative Team
Ann Druyan – Executive producer and writer Ann Druyan served as Creative Director of NASA's legendary Voyager Interstellar Message Project. An acclaimed author and television producer, Druyan, together with her late husband Carl Sagan, was co-writer of the original COSMOS series, as well as the co-creator of the Robert Zemeckis-directed film "Contact," starring Jodie Foster, which grossed more than $100 million. She served as Program Director on the first two solar sailing spacecraft missions. Druyan is CEO of Cosmos Studios. The asteroids named after her and Carl Sagan are in perpetual wedding ring orbit around the sun.
Seth MacFarlane – Emmy® Award-winning executive producer Seth MacFarlane is best known as the creative force behind FAMILY GUY, AMERICAN DAD and THE CLEVELAND SHOW. MacFarlane's feature film directorial debut, "Ted," earned more than $500 million in 2012, making it the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time. He is currently in production on the film "A Million Ways To Die In The West," which he co-wrote, produces, directs and stars in. In 2012, through MacFarlane's generosity, the Library of Congress acquired Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan's extraordinary collection of papers, creating the Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive to be dedicated later this year.
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson – Host Neil deGrasse Tyson is an author, astrophysicist, lecturer and director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. Dr. Tyson is also that rare scientist who connects with all audiences. His many television appearances have established him as a trusted and charismatic authority on science. With more than 1.2 million Twitter followers, more than 240,000 followers on Facebook and a sizeable following on Google+, his social media following is a powerful complement to his passion for science.
Mitchell Cannold – Cosmos Studios President and executive producer Mitchell Cannold brings 30 years of experience as a senior executive, founding, operating, and acquiring a wide range of media businesses at Sony Corporation, NBC News, CBS News, ABC Sports and The Walt Disney Company. Cannold was President of Sony New Media and Sony New Technologies, launching Sony's Internet, Online Games, IMAX 3D, HD research, Design Center and location-based entertainment businesses, as well as strategic marketing partnerships with the National Geographic Society, Discovery Networks, GM, the NBA, Microsoft and VISA.
Brannon Braga – Emmy® Award-nominated executive producer Brannon Braga will serve as the series' principal director. Braga also served as executive producer and senior writer on acclaimed series, including "24," "Flash Forward" and "Threshold" and has been a creative force behind more than 300 episodes of "Star Trek," one of the most successful and influential science fiction franchises in entertainment.
Bill Pope – Director of Photography Bill Pope, A.S.C. is an award-winning American cinematographer best known for the phenomenally successful "Matrix" trilogy, which grossed more than $1.6 billion, as well as "Men in Black 3," "Spider-Man 2" and "Spider-Man 3."
About National Geographic Channels International
National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) inspires viewers through its smart, innovative programming that questions what we know, how we view the world and what drives us forward. A business enterprise owned by National Geographic Ventures and FOX Entertainment Group, NGCI contributes to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education through its six channels: National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Channel HD, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Wild HD, Nat Geo Adventure and Nat Geo Music.
Globally, National Geographic Channel (including NGC U.S., which is a joint venture of NGV and Fox Cable Networks Group) is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 48 languages. For more information, please visit www.natgeotv.com.
About National Geographic Channels U.S.
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels U.S. are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 85 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 48 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.
About Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) is a unit of 21st Century Fox. FOX has ranked No. 1 in the key adult demographic for eight of the past 10 seasons and continues to dominate all network competition in the more targeted Adults 18-34 and Teen demographics. FOX airs 15 hours of primetime programming a week, as well as late-night entertainment programming, major sports and Sunday morning news.
About Cosmos Studios
Carl Sagan, and those privileged enough to work with him, demonstrated there is a worldwide appetite for compelling entertainment that reflects our deepening understanding of cosmic evolution and our place in its great story. Ann Druyan, with support from entrepreneur Joe Firmage, founded Cosmos Studios in 2000 as a successor to Carl Sagan Productions, the company that produced "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage." Cosmos Studios, based in Ithaca, NY, creates, produces and distributes eye, brain, heart and soul-nourishing science-based entertainment integrated across all media. Most of all, Cosmos Studios aims to touch global audiences with the soaring spiritual high that comes from grasping science's central revelation – our oneness with the cosmos. In addition to distributing "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" and producing COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY, Cosmos Studios has produced three documentaries. Ms. Druyan remains its CEO and Mitchell Cannold, an executive producer of the new series, serves as President.
SOURCE National Geographic Channel