Even in reruns, October is shaping up to be a record for Neil DeGrasse Tyson. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert re-ran both of his September appearances this past week. On the 9th you had another chance to watch him ride shotgun with Stephen Colbert in the prototype NASA Mars rover. The show repeated his more traditional recent appearance (where he promoted his book on astrophysics and the military) on the 11th.
In other repeat news, The Late Late Show reran its last episode featuring Big Bang Theory actor and neuroscientists Mayim Bialik. She was on promoting her latest child-rearing book (informed by her neuroscience background). The repeat of the August episode aired on the 11th.
Many shows were off this past week, so the only booking from the new shows of note is Jonah Hill’s appearance on the October 11th episode of The Tonight Show. Hill is one of the clinical trial participants in the Netflix miniseries Maniac. The pharmaceutical being tested is supposed to fix all the mind’s problems.
Perhaps the biggest news in late night circles this past week was the end of an era (of sorts) for Conan O’Brien. The October 4th edition of Conan marks the last time the show will be in an hour format. When it returns in January, Conan will be a 30 minute show. While it was never the leader in the clubhouse here for science and technology content, the various Conan O’Brien shows did dabble in the subject. It remains unclear how much they will be able to do so in a shorter format.
Neil deGrasse Tyson continues to promote his new book on the relationship between astrophysics and the military. On October 3 he appeared on both The View and The Daily Show. And several members of the cast of Criminal Minds, a show that follows an FBI team that profiles criminal behavior, were on The Talk that same day.
Between the Columbus Day Holiday on Monday and the arrival of baseball playoffs, you can expect a lot of repeats next week.
Given the week in politics in the United States, it’s not that surprising that there was little this week in science and technology bookings during late night. Thankfully, not keeping up with programs allows me to close with some appropriate video to make up for the paucity of material this week.
US broadcast networks have been premiering their new shows (and new seasons of current programs) the last week or so, and one of those guests merit mention here. Janet Montgomery plays one of the many doctors on the hospital drama New Amsterdam. She was on with Carson Daly on Monday the 24th. Emma Stone was on with Stephen Colbert the same night, promoting her new Netflix miniseries Maniac. She plays one of the participants in a clinical trial of a new pharmaceutical that supposedly can cure any mental problems.
Here’s the missed segment I mentioned earlier. On the September 21 episode of The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert joined Neil deGrasse Tyson to drive NASA’s new Mars Rover on the streets of New York City.
It was a weak week for late night science and technology guests, as my only draw is a doctor. Freddie Highmore plays the title character on The Good Doctor, which started its second season on U.S. television on September 24. Highmore was a guest on the September 20 edition of Late Night with Seth Meyers.
To make up for the lack of content, I’ll close with this clip from the September 12 edition of The Late Late Show. Professor Robert Winston returned for another segment of scientific demonstrations. As with nearly all segments like this, do not try it at home.
In a down year for science and technology content on late night, this was a good week.
The Predator is a film premiering this week in the United States. A follow-up to two earlier films, the movie stars, among others, Olivia Munn. She plays a biologist and teacher in the film, and was on with Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday the 11th. She appeared on The Talk and with James Corden on September 13. (She was recently on with her movie castmates during the Conan shows from Comic-Con).
The big show of the week was the September 11 edition of The Late Show. Neil deGrasse Tyson was the main guest, and was promoting his latest book. It focuses on the relationship between astrophysics and the military. I have not yet read this book, but watching Tyson on StarTalk I notice that the further away he gets from his chosen field, the greater the chance he has of metaphorically stepping in it. I welcome his examination of the relationship between astrophysics and its military uses, I’m just not expecting it to be as incisive as his work in astrophysics.
The discussion between Colbert and Tyson was wide-ranging, including serious (for a change) conversation of the so-called “Space Force” and the latest developments in the debate over how to define a planet. And if that wasn’t enough, Stephen Colbert discussed the recent announcement that NASA will explore getting income through advertising and naming rights opportunities. To gild the lily, the show mentioned The Waffle House Index (a metric for the strength of natural disasters) before replaying a segment on the September 14 show.
Last, but certainly not least, is a segment from the Wednesday edition of Last Call (September 12). It features the co-directors, Cristina Constantini and Darren Foster, of the documentary Science Fair. The film follows nine students as they compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles. National Geographic Documentary Films distributes the film, which is currently in limited release.
Even with most shows returning from a late summer break, this past week was notable for the repeats. On Monday the 3rd, you could have re-watched the recent appearance of Silicon Valley star Thomas Middleditch on The Late Late Show. But Tuesday was the big deal, with Harry repeating a February show that featured astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
I will note that this month marks the beginning of the last season of The Big Bang Theory. As appearances by the cast members, especially those who play scientists and engineers on the show, have been frequent, it is worth mentioning here. The series finale will likely take place sometime next May.
We’ll start the listings for last week with noting yet another appearance from a cast member of The Big Bang Theory who plays a scientist. As the show recently announced it will end after the upcoming season, the listings here will eventually take a hit. In the meantime, Mayim Bialik, who is a scientist who plays a scientist on the show, was on with Kelly and Ryan on the 28th. The show also hosted the Mathcounts winner on the August 29th edition.
In repeats last week, The View re-ran Evangeline Lilly’s June appearance on Friday the 31st. She plays a technology researcher (and one of the title characters) in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Lucy Liu, currently plays Dr. Joan Watson on Elementary. Her June appearance on The Late Late Show re-aired on the 28th.
This past week marks the end of the summer break for most programs. Many will be off today for the Labor Day holiday, but most should return Tuesday.