Neil deGrasse Tyson is planning to boldly go where no talk show host has gone before when ‘StarTalk‘ premieres next month on the National Geographic Channel. The new series is a televised version of his already acclaimed podcast and will be an hour-long look at the world of science and space. The twist? We’ll be taking this look through the pop culture and the icons which have helped make our brand of geekery so socially acceptable over the last decade. The series is set to have some big names right off the bat and if it is anything like his podcast, will quite quickly capture the hearts and minds of fans across the nation.
Each episode will be filmed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City in front of a live studio audience. On top of that, there is a set spot from Bill Nye the Science Guy which will show him presenting his own view on topics that fall into anything from technology to ‘Star Trek.’ Speaking of ‘Star Trek,’ the first episode will have the theme of “Star Trek as Inspiration for the Future” and, OH MY, will have special guest star George Takei there to talk about how futuristic aspects of the show are already falling into modern society.
Following one awesome genre personality we’ll have the second episode featuring famed director Christopher Nolan. The fun part should be that they plan to talk about ‘Interstellar‘ which Tyson seemed to like (unlike ‘Gravity) while Bill Nye had some quite strong negative opinions about when it was first released. The second episode will also feature comedian Eugene Mirman though no word as to what they’ll be discussing. Future episodes of the initial ten-episode run will also include journalist and podcaster Dan Davage who will speak about love and science, Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington who will be discussing the Information Age, astronaut Chris Hadfield on social media in outer space, and former president Jimmy Carter on epidemics. I’m hoping for a zombie question to come up there. Also in the initial run will be Richard Dawkins, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, NASA administrator Charles Bolden, and producer Norman Lear.
Here’s the full rundown of the season:
StarTalk: George Takei
Premieres Monday, April 20, at 11 PM ET/PT
This week’s theme is “Star Trek” as Inspiration for the Future. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with actor, author and activist George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) to discuss how the once-futuristic scenarios in “Star Trek” relate to many of today’s current moral and social issues. Weighing in on this interview are Charles Liu, astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History and the College of Staten Island, and comedian Leighann Lord. Science educator and frequent guest host of StarTalk Bill Nye delves specifically into scenarios pertaining to technology and civil rights.
StarTalk: Christopher Nolan
Premieres Monday, April 27, at 11 PM ET/PT
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson interviews director, screenwriter and producer Christopher Nolan about The Science of Interstellar. Nolan discusses how he translates his love of science to his films. Dr. Janna Levin, professor of Astronomy and Physics at Columbia University, and comedian Eugene Mirman are on hand to add some colorful commentary.
StarTalk: Dan Savage
Premieres Monday, May 4, at 11 PM ET/PT
This week, Dr. Tyson and his guests delve into the science of Modern Love. Activist, author and journalist Dan Savage joins Dr. Tyson to discuss what love means in today’s society. Anthropologist Helen Fisher and comedian Chuck Nice add their insight to the conversation.
StarTalk: Arianna Huffington
Premieres Monday, May 11, at 11 PM ET/PT
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff), co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, explore Living in the Information Age. The two discuss how technology influences the rate and ways in which we communicate. Journalist Jeff Jarvis and comedian Chuck Nice add their insight.
StarTalk: Richard Dawkins
Premieres Monday, May 18, at 11 PM ET/PT
StarTalk tackles a burning question: Can Science and Religion Coexist? Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and evolutionary biologist and ethologist Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) debate whether science and religion can truly coexist in today’s society. Jesuit clergyman James Martin and comedian Eugene Mirman weigh in.
StarTalk: Jimmy Carter
Premieres Monday, May 25, at 11 PM ET/PT
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and President Jimmy Carter examine the topic of Pulling the Plug on Pestilence. The duo discuss the importance of and progress toward ending fatal epidemic diseases. Mark Siddall, curator of the division of invertebrate zoology at the American Museum of Natural History, and comedian Chuck Nice share their views on this matter.
StarTalk: Chris Hadfield
Premieres Monday, June 1, at 11 PM ET/PT
Social Media-Savvy Astronauts are taking over the cosmos. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield), the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space, discuss social media milestones in space, and its usage among today’s astronauts. Former astronaut Dr. Mike Massimo and comedian Eugene Mirman comment on this growing trend.
StarTalk: Biz Stone
Premieres Monday, June 8, at 11 PM ET/PT
Dr. Tyson explores The Impact of Twitter on Society as he sits down with Biz Stone (@biz), co-founder of Twitter and co-founder/CEO of Super.me. The two discuss how the social media phenomenon has affected the way we communicate in today’s world. Sharing their experience and opinions are Dr. Alondra Nelson, professor of sociology at Columbia University; Clive Thompson, journalist; and Eugene Mirman, comedian.
StarTalk: Charles Bolden/NASA
Premieres Monday, June 15, at 11 PM ET/PT
This week’s theme is NASA’s Vision on Space. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden, administrator of NASA, examine NASA’s past, present and future. Astrophysicist Dr. Michael Shara and science educator Bill Nye share their thoughts on the space program.
StarTalk: Norman Lear
Premieres Monday, June 22, at 11 PM ET/PT
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and Norman Lear (@TheNormanLear), television writer and producer, discuss TV and the Evolution of American Culture. From “All in the Family” to “The Big Bang Theory,” the diverse television landscape and evolving American culture are explored. Author Saul Austerlitz and comedian Chuck Nice add their insight.
This sounds like the perfect follow up to hosting ‘Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.’
Are you looking forward to checking out ‘StarTalk’? Which guest are you most interested in seeing Tyson speak with? Share your thoughts below!
‘StarTalk’ will air Mondays on the National Geographic Channel at 11pm ET beginning April 20th.