For astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the scientific exploration of our universe is one amazing voyage, and so too has been his run on the new "Cosmos."
As host of Fox's science-themed "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," Tyson has carried readers back and forth through time, revisited scientists during pivotal discoveries and introduced a new generation to the wonder of space and science.
"We end on a note where yes, this is a journey. It's a look at how far it's come, look at how much further it can go," Tyson told reporters Friday. "It's our solar curiosity, if you will, that will keep that pumped. Without it, I don't know that the country or the world or culture or civilization can go anywhere." [Photos from "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey"]
"Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" is a 21st-century reboot of the iconic 1980 PBS series "Cosmos: A Personal Journey" hosted by the famed astronomer popularizer of science Carl Sagan, who died in 1996. Like that original series, the new show is led by Ann Druyan, Sagan's widow and longtime partner, who serves as co-writer and executive producer.
"I have a feeling that the reaction to the series has exceeded my wildest fantasies," Druyan told Space.com Friday during a conference call. She added that she was stunned last Sunday (June 1), when "Cosmos" came in neck and neck with "The Bachelorette," nearly win the night in ratings with an episode about global warming on Earth.
"I have a feeling of just tremendous satisfaction that Fox and Nat Geo were brave enough to put this show on primetime, which hasn't happened on a commercial broadcast network such as Fox in recent memory," Druyan said.
Veteran "Star Trek" series producer Brannon Braga served as an executive producer, as did Mitchell Cannold. Composer Alan Silvestri ("The Avengers," "Contact") created the music for "Cosmos" while astrophysics Steven Soter, who also co-wrote the 1980 series, rejoined Druyan for the new show.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson stands at the sea in a scene from "Unafraid of the Dark,&quo …"
For Druyan, the response to the new "Cosmos" has been overwhelming and touching.
"It has come in the form of myriad tweets from people and emails from the public saying that 'Cosmos' has brought families together, that Sunday nights have become a family time again and how many parents and children and couples are watching this series together and most of all how profoundly moved they are by what is a rigorously scientific show," Druyan said. "That was my dream from the beginning."
"Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" will be released on DVD and blu-ray on Tuesday (June 10). Tyson and Druyan said they hoped viewers will enjoy the deeper look behind the scenes of the show included in the collection.