TV doesn't have to be all about talent competitions and reality shows.
Back in 1980, Carl Sagan, America's favorite turtle-neck wearing, smooth-talking scientist brought us Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.
The thirteen part series focused on a range of scientific subjects, from space to the origins of the human race, and became a public television success. The material was educational and interesting, but the backbone was Sagan himself, a lovable optimistic host who saw endless possibility in scientific exploration.
So it seemed unlikely that, with Sagan gone, the series would ever get a reboot.
Enter: the charismatic Neil deGrasse Tyson - this generation's favorite scientist.
Tyson hosts Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey at 9pm Sundays on Fox. The primetime special opened with an introduction from President Obama, which you can watch here. Clearly, it's a big friggin deal!
Much of the magic again comes from the host. Tyson maintains a hilarious, insightful Twitter account. Tyson, President Obama, and Bill Nye the Science Guy took a selfie that went viral a few weeks ago when the science icons took a trip to the White House.
He's the perfect candidate to bring educational programming back to primetime. He matches Sagan's love of science and hope of possibility. Tyson has a personal connection to the man and the series. In the first episode, Tyson tears up as he describes meeting Sagan as a teenager.
The series reboot gets the big network treatment - grand green-screen, a theatrical orchestrated soundtrack, and some Disney like animation for the historical parts. The result is pretty thrilling. Where the original Cosmos lacked the bang in the Big Bang, the new version has all the flash of a modern movie spectacle.
We hope Cosmos kick starts a return to primetime educational programming, the kind of programs that both parents and kids can watch, learn and be inspired by. Science doesn't have to be exiled to the Science Channel.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey airs on Sundays at 9pm on Fox and on Mondays at 10pm on the National Geographic Channel.