Like many of you out there, my childhood fell right in the scientific sweet spot that was the period from 1993 to 1998, which is when Bill Nye, the Science Guy aired on PBS. Like the long-running series featuring Don Herbert, a.k.a. Mr. Wizard, before him, Nye introduced a whole new generation of young television watchers to the eye-opening world of science.
Since the 90s, the television landscape has been relatively barren when it comes to shows that teach scientific concepts with a colorful host like Mr. Wizard, the Science Guy, and even Paul Zaloom of Beakman’s World, but Netflix is now hoping to capitalize on nostalgia and the modern understanding of “doing the science” brought about via the Internet. It was announced today that the streaming giant will be launching a new science talk show, Bill Nye Saves the World in the spring of 2017.
According to their press release, each episode of the series “will tackle a topic from a scientific point of view, dispelling myths, and refuting anti-scientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders or titans of industry.” That’s a pretty bold statement for a synopsis, one that feels less like the 90s version of “science is cool” and more like the contemporary view that science is truth. That’s a perspective that an independent content provider like Netflix can stand behind, one a publicly funded network or more traditional platform probably wouldn’t be able to do. I’m already 100% on board.
Here’s what Nye himself had to say about the exciting new series:
“Since the start of the Science Guy show, I’ve been on a mission to change the world by getting people everywhere excited about the fundamental ideas in science. Today, I’m excited to be working with Netflix on a new show, where we’ll discuss the complex scientific issues facing us today, with episodes on vaccinations, genetically modified foods and climate change. With the right science and good writing, we’ll do our best to enlighten and entertain our audience. And, perhaps we’ll change the world a little.”
In addition to Nye’s unique approach to science communication, Bill Nye Saves the World will also feature special guests, experiments and demonstrations, with facts firmly grounding the argument in question.
Bill Nye Saves the World is produced for Netflix by Bunim/Murray Productions. Gil Goldschein and Julie Pizzi serve as Executive Producers for Bunim/Murray Productions. Michael Naidus (The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson) serves as showrunner and Executive Producer. Writer and standup comedian Mike Drucker serves as Head Comedy Writer; and, astronomer, author and award-winning science communicator Phil Plait serves as Head Science Writer.