Space was in demand in more than one way on Monday as hundreds of Emmy voters packed The Paley Center for Media for an out-of-this-world event highlighting “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”. After a screening, host Neil deGrasse Tyson, executive producers Ann Druyan and Mitchell Cannold and composer Alan Silvestri took part in a Q&A. (Listen to the full podcast below).
–Tyson, a world-renowned scientist, explained that a chance encounter with Seth MacFarlane led to the program airing in primetime: “Seth said ‘Why don’t I bring it to Fox?’ And at that second I thought that was the worst idea I’d ever heard. But then I began to think: ‘If ‘Cosmos’ appears on FOX that would be an extraordinary pathway for exposure.’ So about 12 seconds later I realized it was the most brilliant idea I’d ever heard.”
Cannold concurred that network TV was where “Cosmos” was meant to be: “So many talented people choose to migrate to cable because they think they can take more chances. [FOX] proves that [they] were willing to take enormous risks and put science programming on primetime.”
For Druyan, who believes there is a current thirst for this type of knowledge-based programming, “Cosmos” is showing “this search for knowledge is not only conducted by alienated psychopaths. It’s also done by people who are part of a community of minds.”
And Silvestri admitted, “I could literally have closed my eyes and scored ‘Cosmos’ without seeing anything because of the power of that story. When I would go to work in the morning in my jammies, because I work at home, I would begin the episode and even though it was early morning where I was, was at a campfire with Neil deGrasse Tyson who is now going to tell us all a story and that to me was the real key.”