Seth MacFarlane. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles…)
When thinking of speakers at the Planetary Society’s annual event in Pasadena, Seth MacFarlane’s name does not immediately come to mind.
The "Family Guy"creator came to the Pasadena Convention Center to talk about the new show "Cosmos" that he will co-produce on Fox. This year, PlanetFest is centered on the hopeful landing of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, a landing that MacFarlane says has occupied his thoughts for months. “This is a very big night for all of us here on Earth,” he said.
“Cosmos” will be a modern remake of the legendary 1980s PBS series, which provided an explanation of the universe accessible to a wide audience across the nation. The new show will bring science-based entertainment to prime-time television in a 13-episode documentary mini-series.
“Instead of people who already understand science, who are already acquainted with thinking about science, we are reaching a whole new audience,” said Ann Druyan, who co-wrote the 1980s series with Steven Soter and her husband, Carl Sagan.
MacFarlane’s involvement in the series is not based on his knowledge of science but rather on his relationship with the network.
“The only thing I could offer was the chance to present “Cosmos” to a wider audience. Why not reach a mainstream network audience of millions of people? It’s time, first of all. We are in grave danger of forgetting here in America how vitally important continuing the exploration of space is to our future,” MacFarlane said.
The projected release date for the show is in 2014. But, as MacFarlane joked to an audience of 800 eager space enthusiasts, “if you think about it in geological time that isn’t too bad.”
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Photos: Preparing to land on Mars
Photos: History of Mars exploration