CBS CEO Les Moonves says the network's new comedies “appear to be working,” predicting that the network will most likely renew most of its slate for next year.
Moonves spoke Tuesday at a Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference in San Francisco. He specifically mentioned the new comedies “Mom,” airing Mondays, and the Thursday shows “The Millers” and “Crazy Ones.”
But as always, Moonves said, the problem for CBS is, “Where do you put it all?” CBS needs cancellations to make room for the new comedies and dramas it will ann0unce at its upfront presentation to advertisers in May.
It could be a lively upfront: Moonves says it's inevitable that advertisers will soon start paying rates based on seven days of ad viewing, rather than the current three. That would be good news for networks, given the increasing popularity of DVR viewing. But it will be more expensive for advertisers.
Also read: Coming Soon to Your DVR: Fresher Ads
The current C3 system bases ad sales on ratings for ads on the day they air, but three days. Moonves wants them to start paying for C7 — based on ratings for the airdate, plus seven days.
“I think it's inevitable it becomes the norm,” he said. “We already have a couple of c7 deals operating now.”
CBS gave a big nod to the reality of DVR by announcing that it will join NBC in offering dynamic ad insertion. The practice allows CBS to insert up-to-the-minute ads in shows that viewers watch on delay. For example, an episode of “The Millers” that airs on Thursday, its original night, might include an ad for a movie opening Friday. If a viewer watches the episode on demand a week later, she might see a more timeless ad, like one for boxed macaroni and cheese.
Moonves also predicted that Comcast's acquisition of Time Warner will go through, and repeated his prediction from last month that CBS will be able to make a “reasonable” new retransmission deal with Comcast. He said that as the owner of NBC, Comcast respects content. Moonves also said he expects a new deal early next year.
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With nearly 44 million viewers tuning in to ABC on Sunday for the 86th Academy Awards, the network enjoyed its most-watched week in four years.
ABC topped its nearest competition in total viewers, CBS, by 36 percent. In terms of demo ratings, ABC was 83 percent above second-place NBC in the advertiser-sought adults 18-49 demographic.
“The Oscars” show finished as the 2013-14 season’s top entertainment telecast in total viewers, and TV’s most-watched entertainment broadcast in nearly 10 years. Sunday's show was the most-watched Oscars telecast in 14 years.
Overall, ABC had nine of the Top 20 TV shows in the key demo last week, with seven in the Top 10. “The Oscars” awards show was top dog, “The Red Carpet Live” (third half hour) was second, the carpet's second half hour was third.
“Scandal,” the week's top drama across networks, ranked sixth overall, while “Modern Family,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and the first red carpet timeslot tied for the No. 10 slot.
Year-to-year, ABC spiked over the same week by 90 percent in viewers. But it wasn't just a fruitful week for ABC; NBC boasted a 50 percent increase in the key demo ratings from the same week last year.
Jeff Goldblum isn't on Facebook, but he knows what you crazy internet kids were up to last month.
In another round of the endless internet war between pretension and ironic nihilism, Facebook users in mid-February launched Occupy Jeff Goldblum, which entailed filling their feeds with photos and videos of the cult favorite 60-year-old actor. It was, as usual, a reaction to another movement, which had sought to drown out inane status updates with pictures of art. It was all in good fun, of course, and only got back to Goldblum — who co-stars in this weekend's “Grand Budapest Hotel” — because one enterprising fan sought him out at his weekly jazz performance in Los Feliz, Calif.
“Somebody told me. I’m not on Facebook, I haven’t seen it, but I play this jazz gig at Rockwell and somebody came up to me and said, ‘Hey let’s take a picture! I’m gonna post it and have my own Occupy Jeff Goldblum picture!'” Goldblum told The Wrap last week. “I know people were kind of into it, what was it?”
Once it was explained, Goldblum, debonaire with streaked grey hair, smiled.
“I’m sure it’ll come and go, just like everything else.”
Goldblum is similarly easygoing about most other things in life, though he is hardly passive. Take his philosophy on his recent achievement of cult favorite status, which stems in part from appearances on “Tim & Eric” and “Portlandia,” and also the fact that a generation of kids who grew up loving “Jurassic Park” are now in charge of the internet.
“I don't know, I keep my head down and focused,” he said, laughing again. “Like my third grade teacher said, when taking a test, keep your eyes on your own paper. I just try to wake up every day and keep making stuff.”
That's a big part of his personal mission, constantly satisfying “a serious appetite for getting better and doing a variety of things and interesting things,” as he put it. And while Goldblum also laughs off a 2010 article in The Guardian that called him the “Buddha of Hollywood,” his philosophical outlook on life is similarly serene and curious.
“I’m a humble student of wise people,” Goldblum said, more than once. Off the top of his head, he named recent collaborators like Wes Anderson, the “Grand Budapest” writer/director, whom Goldblum marveled, “enters what kind of looks to be a focused transcendental state of enjoyment” as he works on set.
Goldblum also said he spent a lot of time picking the brains of his co-stars on the film while they all shacked up in a hotel in Gorlitz, Germany, even if he's been very famous since at least 1986, when he transformed for David Cronenberg's “The Fly.”
“I like to ask, living with everybody as we did, and hanging around, without making a pest of myself, I sort of like to inquire, how did you get this good and how did you learn and how do you do it?” What did you do to prepare?” he explained. “I know what I developed and liked to do but I’m interested in hearing from others about acting and about life in general. I’m a student of how to live.”
When it comes to managing what has been a 40-year career, Goldblum keeps it simple. “Don’t fall for the sales aspect of success,” he warned. “Offer something and make yourself substantial so that you can offer something of real substance, and live simply.”
More generally, Goldblum keeps it even more simple.
“Make sure you leave more than you take,” the actor advised. “There are movies about that these days, I suppose this movie has something to do with living in a principled and noble way for something of conscience and civility and being willing to die for it. Hopefully we never get tested like that, but devoting your life to something you believe is beautiful is pretty good.”
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USA Network's “Graceland” has nabbed itself a feisty new character for its second season.
Jamie Gray Hyder has been cast in a recurring guest role on the USA drama, TheWrap has learned.
She will play Lucia, who doesn’t let her tough exterior go unnoticed and has no patience for idiots. She's trying to live a normal life as a grad student, but she keeps getting pulled back into the family's drug business by her psychotic brother, Carlito (Erik Valdez). Lucia often finds herself cleaning up the messes that Carlito and his reckless friends make. She's skeptical of Tuturro (Manny Montana) and his attempts to get close to her brother.
Hyder is best know for her role as werewolf Danielle on the fifth and sixth seasons of HBO's “True Blood”. Gamers will recognize her as the voice of Echo from the video game “Killzone: Shadow Fall.” She has also appeared in John Mayer's “Heartbreak Warfare” video and several commercials and print campaigns.
From “White Collar” creator Jeff Eastin, “Graceland” stars Daniel Sunjata, Aaron Tveit, Vanessa Ferlito, Brandon Jay McLaren, Serinda Swan and Montana. USA renewed the series last September, ahead of its season finale, for 13 new episodes premiering this summer.
At the time, “Graceland” averaged 1.8 million viewers per episode in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, which made it the No. 1 new scripted series on cable in the demo. It also averaged four million total viewers per episode.
Momentum Talent and LA Management represent Hyder.
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CNN has greenlit a new legal talk show “Making the Case” for it's 10:30 p.m. ET slot, co-hosted by legal contributors Sunny Hostin and Mark Geragos.
The test program, set to premiere March 10, will be among a number of primetime experiments by Jeff Zucker in the weeks and months to come, an insider told TheWrap.
“Spread the word!” Hostin exclaimed on Twitter.
– Sunny Hostin (@SunnyHostin) March 4, 2014
Zucker has previously tested half-hour shows during CNN's later hours with Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin in recent weeks. Lemon temporarily hosted “The 11th Hour,” and Baldwin hosted “CNN Today.”
Rebroadcasts of “AC360″ currently occupy the 10pm time slot.
Hostin made the announcement on Tuesday's edition of “The View.”
Watch her announcement below via ABC:
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Ellen DeGeneres is having a big week.
Not only did DeGeneres host the Oscars on Sunday night, but her daytime talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” handily broke its own ratings record with Monday's post-Oscars episode.
The Monday installment of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” averaged a 4.8 household rating/11 share in the overnight markets, the show's highest rating in its 11-year history.
The show's previous high was a 3.8 rating, which it achieved in January 2004.
In the women 18-49 and women 25-54 demographics, Monday's “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” scored a 2.1/11 and 2.7/13, respectively.
Monday's episode featured guest appearances by Oscar winners Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong'o and Jared Leto, as well as Edgar Martirosyan, who delivered pizzas to the rich and famous during a particularly memorable segment of the awards ceremony.
According to revised numbers released Tuesday, Sunday night's Oscars drew 43.7 million total viewers — the ceremony's highest total viewership since 2000.
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Bison Capital Holdings, a Beijing-based financial company, has invested in Resolution, Jeff Berg’s talent and literary agency, the companies said Tuesday. Resolution did not disclose the size of the investment, nor how large a stake Bison would take in the year-old agency.
Berg has been looking to expand his company’s footprint in China, discussing options with Jahm Najafi, his initial investor, and David Unger, an agent he tasked with mounting a strategy for the world’s largest country.
“This partnership will allow us to fund strategic expansion in the global marketplace,” Berg said in a statement. Major agencies CAA and WME have taken outside investment, but from U.S.-based venture capital firms. CAA has its own office in Beijing, and every large agency and film studio is looking for new opportunities in China, where moviegoers spend more on films than in any country but the United States.
Bison has also invested in AirMedia Group, a top advertising company. Peixin Wu, the founder of Bison Capital Holding, is an independent director of Bona Film Group, a leading Chinese entertainment companies partially owned by Fox. Jack Gao, a top Fox executive, has joined Resolution's board of directors.
“An important element of our decision to partner with Resolution is the reputations of the senior team who are recognized professionals around the world,” Xu said in a statement. “In addition to the financial opportunity, we now have access to relationships and information that will be critical in enhancing our platform in China.”
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Carl Kasell, the voice of the popular NPR news quiz radio show “Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me!” is retiring after a 50-year broadcasting career and will record his final appearance on the show in the spring.
Kasell joined “Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me!” in 1998 as official judge and scorekeeper, drawing a loyal following of listeners who tuned in every week for his judicious score keeping.
“My favorite time at NPR has been “Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!” Kasell revealed. “It was loads of fun and gave me a chance to meet and talk in person to the audiences that I felt I had known for so many years on the air. I can honestly say I am the luckiest man around to be able to have worked at a job I love for so many years. It's truly been a joy for me.”
Kasell also was the voice of NPR's “Morning Edition” from the show's inception in 1979 until 2009.
“All of his imitations sounded exactly the same,” said ”Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me!” executive producer Mike Danforth in a statement. “But the audience loved it. Everyone from Vladimir Putin to Zsa Zsa Gabor sounded exactly like our beloved Carl Kasell.”
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Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are hooking up on the small screen again.
Kunis, Kutcher's former “That '70s Show” co-star — and, according to reports, current fiancee — has been booked to guest star on an episode of Kutcher's CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men.”
Kunis will play Vivian, a young, beautiful, free-spirited world traveler who shows up on Walden’s doorstep. Walden feels an instant connection with her, convinced she’s “the one.” The problem is, Walden (played by Kutcher) was about to propose to someone else.
Kunis, who played Jackie Burkhart, the girlfriend of Kutcher's pretty-but-slow-witted Michael Kelso on “That '70s Show,” will appear on the big screen opposite Channing Tatum in “Jupiter Ascending,” as well as in “Third Person,” which is slated for June release.
Kunis’ other TV work includes voice work for the Fox animated series “Family Guy.”
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AwesomenessTV has hired T.J. Marchetti as chief marketing officer, the company said Tuesday. Marchetti will oversee all marketing and branding for the company, which operates a large network of YouTube channels, produces a TV show and has joint ventures with Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital and Seventeen Magazine.
Marchetti joins AwesomnessTV from Disney, where he oversaw digital marketing for Disney movies in theaters at at home. Marchetti replaces Margaret Laney, who, as TheWrap reported last week, left the company to run a mobile start-up.
“TJ comes to AwesomenessTV with a strong track record of combining creativity and technology to build brands and audience loyalty,” AwesomenessTV CEO Brian Robbins said in a statement “We are thrilled to have someone of his stature join our company as we continue to grow.”
While at Disney, Marchetti orchestrated an award-winning campaign for “Frozen,” and was part of the team that launches Disney Movies Anywhere, a new cloud-based movie storage service. AwesomenessTV is owned by DreamWorks Animation, one of Disney's principal rivals in feature animation.
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If Theo James becomes a Hollywood action star after “Divergent” hits theaters this month, he deserves a lot of the credit, according to the film's stunt coordinator.
“Theo did all the fighting himself. 100 percent, no stunt double,” stunt veteran Garrett Warren says in a new behind-the-scenes featurette for the Summit release. “I give Theo an awful lot of credit.”
James gives fans of the Veronica Roth novel a preview of his character in the video (above), and the author herself says the actor “has done so much more with the character” than she could have hoped.
Four is among the title class of citizens in the futuristic society where being different is frowned upon. Like heroine Tris Prior, played by Shailene Woodley, Four hides his divergence and has chosen the Dauntless faction, which is dedicated to courage, bravery, and fearlessness.
“Theo's reactions are amazing. His ability of listening is incredible,” Woodley says. “But he's also tough on screen, and a really strong person.”
If you're still in the mood for more of the move that hits theaters on March 21, watch an additional trailer below:
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“Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe have accepted plea deals stemming from their 41-count federal fraud indictment last year, according to signed plea documents obtained by TheWrap.
Appearing in a federal court in New Jersey on Tuesday, the couple — who received a 39-count indictment in July and two additional charges in November — were charged as individuals and accepted separate pleas for the offenses committed over a 10-year period between 2001 and 2011. Both had initially pleaded not guilty to all of the charges when they were filed.
Teresa pleaded guilty to four charges — conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud by concealment of assets, bankruptcy fraud by false oaths and bankruptcy fraud by false declarations. These four charges would have carried a combined maximum jail sentence of 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Joe Giudice pleaded guilty to those same charges as well as a fifth charge of failure to file a tax return. During tax years 2004 through 2008, Joe admitted receiving income totaling $996,459 but did not file tax returns for those years.
The Giudices still face possible jail time as part of the pleas. Teresa's new maximum jail sentence is 21-27 months, and Joe's is 37-46 months.
A judge will decide whether to send either individual to prison at their sentencing hearing on July 8 — and as part of her agreement, Teresa will have to surrender $200,000 on or before that date.
“Teresa and Giuseppe Giudice used deception and fraud to cheat banks, bankruptcy court and the IRS,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said in a statement. “With their guilty pleas, they admitted the schemes with which they were charged. Having now confessed their wrongdoing, the Giudices face the real cost of their criminal conduct.”
As part of Tuesday's agreement, Teresa Giudice admitted falsifying claims of employment in applying for a $121,500 mortgage loan in September 2001 and another mortgage loan, along with Joe, for $361,250 obtained in July 2005.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey, the Giudices also admitted defrauding the United States Trustee in their Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing by intentionally concealing businesses they owned, income received from rental property, and the true income Teresa received from Bravo's “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” which gave her a raise ahead of the then-upcoming second season.
“Today, I took responsibility for a series of mistakes I made several years ago,” Teresa Giudice said in a statement through her lawyer, Henry E. Klingeman.
“I have said throughout that I respect the legal process and thus I intend to address the Court directly at sentencing. I will describe the choices I made, continue to take responsibility for my decisions, and express my remorse to Judge Salas and the public.
“I am heartbroken that this is affecting my family–especially my four young daughters, who mean more to me than anything in the world. Beyond this, I do not intend to speak specifically about the case outside of court, at the recommendation of my attorney and out of deference to the Government and our legal system.”
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Warner Bros. has promoted Jon Berg and Courtenay Valenti to exec VP of development and production, giving them greater oversight of all development at the film studio, Warner Bros. said Tuesday. The duo will report to Greg Silverman, president of creative development and worldwide production.
Silverman executes the overall vision for development and production while Valenti and Berg will oversee the development team and budget.
“Courtenay and Jon are hands down two of the best executives in the industry, with impeccable creative sensibilities and a real love of films and filmmaking,” Silverman said in a statement. “Courtenay has deep ties to the Warner Bros. family, and throughout her tenure has worked on some of our most successful and critically acclaimed films. And, over the last six years, Jon has repeatedly proven himself a key driver of our films’ success.”
The promotions come in the wake of a couple departures, as both Lynn Harris and Sarah Schechter left the studio in the past month. Schechter went to work for “Arrow” producer Greg Berlanti while Harris remains a free agent.
Valenti has worked at the studio for 25 years, supervising recent hit “The Lego Movie” and past hits such as “You’ve Got Mail” and “Message in a Bottle.”
Berg has been at the studio for six, overseeing “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Argo” and the “Sherlock Holmes” franchise. Valenti is currently working on a reboot of “Mad Max” as well as “Focus,” which stars Will Smith, while Berg is supervising Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice,” among many others.
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Leonardo DiCaprio is saying ‘goodbye’ to 20th Century Fox's Travis McGee movie “The Deep Blue Good-by,” which James Mangold is now in negotiations to direct.
The project had been developed as a starring vehicle for DiCaprio, who will now simply produce with his Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson-Killoran, Amy Robinson and Chernin Entertainment.
DiCaprio's schedule prevented him from starring in the movie, which the “Wolf of Wall Street” star recused himself from before talks with Mangold started, so the director had nothing to do with DiCaprio's exit.
“Mystic River” author Dennis Lehane wrote the most recent draft of the screenplay, which is based on John D. MacDonald's 1964 novel. Dana Stevens and Kario Salem penned previous drafts.
Fox hopes Mangold will launch a Travis McGee franchise that can attract an A-list star and be done at a mid-range budget. The character is a Fort Lauderdale beach bum who lives on a houseboat called The Busted Flush where he takes mysterious cases and gets into trouble helping damsels in distress.
Mangold, who is coming off Fox's “Wolverine,” is repped by WME and Management 360.
The news was first reported by Deadline.
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A&E's “Psycho”-inspired “Bates Motel” scored with its Season 2 premiere on Monday, hitting a series high in total viewership.
The series, starring Freddie Highmore as a young Norman Bates, grabbed 3.1 million total viewers with its season premiere, making it the show's most-watched episode ever.
Also read: ‘Bates Motel’ Gets its Own After Show
In the 18-49 demographic most important to advertisers, the premiere scored 1.6 million viewers.
Compared to the Season 1 average, Monday night's premiere was up 15 percent in total viewers and 7 percent in the demo.
Also read: A&E Developing Drama About Fallen Angels
The Season 2 premiere also edged out last March's series premiere in total viewers, inching up 3 percent, and drew even with the demo.
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Edward Snowden, who has been in self-imposed exile since leaking government secrets last year, will speak at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival on Monday, the festival said Tuesday. Snowden will not be there in person, as any return to the United States would likely result in his arrest, appearing instead via videoconference.
Many in the United States government are incensed Snowden revealed the extent of the National Security Agency’s spying, particularly its tracking of both U.S. citizens and foreign leaders.
Snowden’s leaks also revealed a program called PRISM, by which the NSA was accessing information about users of Facebook, Google, Yahoo and other tech giants. Assuring user privacy is critical to all of those businesses, and SXSW is one of the most prominent forums for the technology community.
Snowden will speak with Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Ben Wizner, an ACLU director and Snowden’s legal advisor.
The three will discuss how the NSA’s spying has affected technology companies, and how technology can protect citizens from surveillance.
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Surprisingly, Liza Minnelli wasn't thrilled to be referred to as a man during the Oscars on Sunday night.
Minnelli, who was jokingly referred to as “sir” during host Ellen DeGeneres’ opening monologue, offered her thoughts about the joke when approached by TMZ.
Minnelli didn't exactly give DeGeneres a glowing review.
“I think she thought it would be funny, but she never stopped after she said it and said, ‘My friend, Liza Minnelli,” the actress/singer said. “I think it went a little astray on her.”
See photos: 26 Best & Worst Moments of Oscars 2014
DeGeneres made Minnelli the target of one of her most piercing jokes during the monologue, referring to her as “one of the best Liza Minnelli impersomators I’ve ever seen in my life” and adding, “Good job, sir.”
But lest anyone think that the moment had created bad blood between the two, Minnelli told TMZ that Ellen is “a wonderful lady, and I think she did great.”
Way to keep it classy, Liza. You even got DeGeneres’ gender straight.
Watch the video below.
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Timbaland has joined Fox's drama pilot, “Empire,” as a songwriter and song producer.
“Empire” – written by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, and directed by Daniels – is a family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire, featuring original and current music. The show stars Academy Award nominees Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, and is executive-produced by Daniels, Strong, Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo.
See photos: The Faces of Pilot Season 2014
Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley has hits for performers including Madonna, Beyonce, Jay Z, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, and Keith Urban. In 2013, he produced and co-wrote multiple tracks on four of the year's biggest selling multi-platinum-albums: “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” “The 20/20 Experience Part I and II,” and “Beyonce.” Timbaland was acclaimed as Billboard Magazine's Songwriter of the Decade in 2011.
Timbaland is repped by WME.
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Animal Planet is doggedly determined to carry on with “Pit Bulls and Parolees.”
The network has given a sixth season to the series, which will premiere later this year, Animal Planet said Tuesday.
The new season will follow Tia Torres after she rebuilds her Villalobos rescue facility and life in New Orleans, following a relocation from Northern California.
The fifth season of the series, which kicked off in November and ended late last month, averaged 1 million total viewers, and hit a series high in the women 25-54 demographic with 409,000 viewer in the demo with the Feb. 15 episode “From the Shadows.”
The series is produced by 44 Blue Productions and Rive Gauche Television.
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Get ready for billions and billions — or at least a whole lot — of episodes of “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.”
The National Geographic channel will air a two-day marathon of the original “Cosmos” series this weekend, leading up to the premiere of Seth MacFarlane's reboot of the series — “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.”
Starting Saturday at noon, the National Geographic Channel will air all 13 episodes of the Carl Sagan series, which premiered on PBS in 1980.
The new series, which counts MacFarlane among its writers and executive producers and will be hosted by renowned astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (pictured), will premiere March 9 at 9 p.m. on multiple networks, including Fox, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, FX, FXX, FXM, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and Fox Life.
Much like the groundbreaking original series, the new “Cosmos” will present the saga of how we discovered the laws of nature and found our coordinates in space and time, presenting never-before-told stories of the heroic quest for knowledge. The show aims to transport viewers to new worlds and across the universe for a vision of the cosmos on the grandest — and the smallest — scale.
Read the full schedule for National Geographic Channel's “Cosmos” marathon below.
Saturday, March 8
12 p.m. – The Shore of the Cosmic Ocean
1 p.m. – One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue
2 p.m. – Harmony of the Worlds
3 p.m. – Heaven and Hell
4 p.m. – Blues for a Red Planet
5 p.m. – Travellers’ Tales
Sunday, March 9
12 p.m. – The Backbone of Night
1 p.m. – Journeys in Space and Time
2 p.m. – The Lives of the Stars
3 p.m. – The Edge of Forever
4 p.m. – The Persistence of Memory
5 p.m. – Encyclopaedia Galactica
6 p.m. – Who Speaks for Earth?
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