AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Geographic Channel took SXSW-goers on a deep dive into outer space today during a sneak peek presentation of its first-ever late-night talk series StarTalk, where show host and prominent astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) — joining via Skype — answered fan questions and revealed the series premiere date of Monday, April 20, at 11 p.m. ET/10 p.m. CT (with encores each Friday at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT). World-renowned cultural luminaries across science, entertainment and politics, like President Jimmy Carter, Richard Dawkins, Chris Hadfield, Norman Lear, Christopher Nolan, George Takei and others, were announced as guests.
Based on Dr. Tyson’s prominent podcast of the same name, the hour-long, weekly series infuses pop culture with science, while bringing together comedians and celebrities to delve into a wide range of topics. Each week, in a private interview, Dr. Tyson explores all the ways that science and technology have influenced the life and livelihood of his guests, whatever their background.
After his one-on-one interview, Dr. Tyson invites a comedian co-host and influencers in media, science and pop culture to join him in front of a studio audience in the American Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City — where he serves as the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium — to further break down the topic. And in each episode, Dr. Tyson calls on his friend Bill Nye the Science Guy to weigh in on the week’s theme; Nye shares his perspective on science, technology and even Star Trek via a pretaped segment.
“Expanding the StarTalk radio show and podcast into a television show on National Geographic Channel offers a unique opportunity to show viewers how pervasive science is in our culture and how entertaining science can be,” said Dr. Tyson. “Throughout the show we explore current issues with top industry leaders and pair that with comical, but informed, commentary. From politicians and actors to scientists, social activists and more, the impact of science knows no bounds.”
Premiere episodes include:
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.
About Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Host Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist, lecturer, author and director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. 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 3.3 million Twitter followers and more than 2.6 million followers on Facebook, his social media following is a powerful complement to his passion for science. As the host of COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey, Tyson brought his take on Carl Sagan’s classic to television in a 13-part series in 2014.
StarTalk is produced by Curved Light Productions and National Geographic Studios for National Geographic Channels. For Curved Light Productions, executive producers are Neil deGrasse Tyson and Helen Matsos. For National Geographic Studios, executive producer is Brian Lovett, co-executive producer is Drew Pulley and president is Brooke Runnette. For National Geographic Channels, executive producer is Michael Kovnat, vice president of production is Char Serwa and president of original programming and production is Tim Pastore.
National Geographic Channels
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US 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 over 85 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.
StarTalk Radio, hosted by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, is a ground-breaking, weekly, one-hour radio talk show and podcast, bridging the gap between pop culture and pop science. With a unique combination of comedy and celebrity star power, including frequent guest host Bill Nye, the show aims to bring the universe down to Earth. StarTalk is available on SiriusXM, iTunes (where it recently ranked as the No. 1 podcast and made the “Best of 2014” list), Stitcher (where it won the 2013 Stitcher Award for Best Science and Medicine podcast), SoundCloud and TuneIn. The podcast has more than 2 million downloads per month and more than 350,000 downloads per week. For more information, visit www.startalkradio.net.
The American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world’s pre-eminent scientific, educational and cultural institutions. The museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, where Neil DeGrasse Tyson serves as the Frederick P. Rose Director. The museum’s five active research divisions and three cross-disciplinary centers support 200 scientists, whose work draws on a world-class permanent collection of more than 33 million specimens and artifacts, as well as specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the only American museum authorized to grant Ph.D. degrees. Approximately 5 million visitors from around the world came to the museum last year, and its exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents.