Fox is once again betting on the talents of Seth MacFarlane.
The network has green-lit Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey. The 13-part docu-series is designed to be a successor to Carl Sagan's iconic 1980s PBS series, with MacFarlane teaming up with Sagan's widow, writer-producer Ann Druyan and astrophysicist Steven Soter.
Something of a departure for both the creator of Family Guy and its network home, the science series will be hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. It is currently slated to air in primetime 2013, first on Fox and then later in the night on the National Geographic Channel. (NGC will co-produce the product.)
“Never more than at this moment in the modern era have we needed a profound reminder of the colossally important and exciting role that science, space exploration and the human quest for knowledge must continue to play in our development as a species,” said MacFarlane.
Added Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly,“While admittedly on the periphery of our brand, we believe this can have the same massive cultural impact that the original series delivered, and we’re going to use all of our resources – on-air and company-wide – to help bring that to fruition.”
The news comes just three months after Fox announced it would be going into production with MacFarlane on a fourth TV project, Hanna-Barbera's Flinstones. Like Cosmos, it's being prepped for a 2012 launch. (MacFarlane's other animated efforts include Family Guy, American Dad and Cleveland Show.)
Cosmos will be produced by Ann Druyan's Cosmos Studios, with Druyan, MacFarlane, Cosmos Studios president Mitchell Cannold and National Geographic Channel's Allan Butler on board as executive producers.
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