The first day of autumn is Friday, but you wouldn’t be off to note a change of season from this week’s science and technology guest listings, which marks a notable uptick from the summer.
First, last night’s (Monday’s) edition of The Late Late Show had two guests of note. Sonequa Martin-Green, who is the lead of Star Trek Discovery and plays a scientist on that show, was a guest, and Professor Robert Winston made a return visit. Winston conducted some scientific demonstrations on the program. Martin-Green will also be on Friday’s edition of The Talk.
Since the new season of The Big Bang Theory premieres next week, the cast is making the rounds. Mayim Bialik, who is a neuroscientist and plays one on the program, visits The Late Late Show on Wednesday. Jim Parsons, who plays a scientist on the program, will be on with Stephen Colbert Thursday night.
Joining Parsons on Thursday’s Daily Show is Tatiana Maslany, fresh off her turn as several distinct clone characters on Orphan Black. She’s promoting her latest film, but it wouldn’t surprise me is Stephen Colbert asked about her most notable role(s) to date.
The Daily Show came to play this week as well. Ellen Pao, a Silicon Valley tech investor, will be on Wednesday night, and Bill Gates is Thursday’s guest.
Topping the week on Friday will be an appearance by Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Harry.
This week marks a rare appearance by The Tonight Show. Noted primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall is scheduled to appear on Thursday night’s edition of the program. It’s the highlight of the week, perhaps because The Late Show is in repeats as Stephen Colbert prepares to host the Emmy awards ceremony this Sunday night.
I’d like to call out the August 31st edition of The Daily Show for two segments. First, the guest, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, discussed artificial intelligence with host Trevor Noah (the link is to an extended version of the interview). Additionally, correspondent Ronny Chieng highlighted a group of young Australian researchers who worked hard to make a cheaper alternative of a particular pharmaceutical. Both are worth your time, and the discussion about artificial intelligence is remarkably sophisticated for popular television.
With yesterday being Labor Day in the United States, most of the late night programs were in repeats or off (some will be off all week). Last night (Monday) the Late Night rerun included an appearance by Bryan Fogel, who directed Icarus, a documentary concerning recent Russian athletic doping activity.
Regrettably, there is just one listing of note for this week’s programs. Sonequa Martin-Green, the lead of the new Star Trek show, will be on The Late Show Wednesday night. She plays Michael Burnham on Star Trek: Discovery, a Starfleet officer who is a trained scientist and the first officer of the U.S.S. Shenzhou. (Yes, the show is named after a different ship, for reasons that will no doubt become clear once the show premieres later this month, or you search the Internet for spoilers.) The show premieres on CBS (in the U.S.) on September 24 before moving to the network’s online streaming service.
First, a retrospective on last week’s programs. (Apologies for not posting them last week.) Yes, there were eclipse jokes, but most were some variation on looking at the sun without the proper equipment or a parallel with current events.
Last Thursday (August 24) The Late Late Show re-ran former Vice President Al Gore’s recent appearance to promote An Inconvenient Sequel. Tonight (Monday) The Late Show will re-air Mr. Gore’s recent appearance.
Last Tuesday (August 22) Jimmy Kimmel Live! re-ran the recent appearance by The Big Bang Theory actor Jim Parsons. Parsons plays a scientist on the show, and he narrated the recently aired Discovery documentary First In Human. The program focuses on the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health.
Focusing on the week ahead, repeats continue. Most of the shows should be back following Labor Day.
But there is a double dose of Neil deGrasse Tyson. He is on the new episode of The Daily Show tonight (Monday), and on Wednesday you can catch his June appearance on The View. On Friday you can see a new interview with Tatiana Maslany on Live with Kelly and Ryan. Maslany recently ended her run on Orphan Black where she played a number of different characters, each of them clones.
First, a scheduling note. I will be focused on the solar eclipse next Monday, and the week’s listings will likely be posted either Sunday night or sometime on Tuesday. As it is still the late August doldrums (for non-political talk that is), I suspect this won’t be an issue.
This week we have rare appearances of science and technology guests on the NBC shows. Tonight (Monday) on Late Night you can watch an interview with Bryan Vogel. Vogel directed the documentary film Icarus, which chronicles the Russian Olympic doping scandal. Grant Thompson, best known for his YouTube videos, will appear on The Tonight Show Friday night. He will likely have one of his science and/or technology demonstrations ready to go.
While The Daily Show is airing retrospective episodes on the Trump Administration this week, most of the late night shows are airing new programs this week. Sadly, the relevant science and technology guests are to be found in the repeats on daytime.
On Tuesday, you can catch former doctor who plays one on television Ken Jeong on The Real. It’s a repeat from February. On Thursday you can see Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence talk with Ellen DeGeneres about Passengers, their film from last year that focuses on two passengers on a sleeper ship.
As I continue to catch up from my recent travels, I’ll note two other recent appearances of science and technology guests on late night. Al Gore continued his promotion of An Inconvenient Sequel with a July 26 visit to The Late Late Show. Adam Conover, who hosts Adam Ruins Everything, was on The Late Show on August 1. Conover’s show assesses conventional wisdom and occasionally digs into scientific topics.
So, my prediction that last week’s post would be delayed was either completely wrong, or meant to mean it would be folded into this week’s edition.
Either way, I whiffed. Many programs last week were in repeats, but there was some promotion for the upcoming Discovery Channel film Manhunt: Unabomber. The Unabomber was known, in part, for a negative perspective about the influence of technology on humanity. Last week actor Paul Bettany appeared on The Late Show (Monday) and Live with Kelly and Ryan (Tuesday) to promote the film.
While it showed up in these listings infrequently, I’ll note that this is the last week for the Comedy Central program @midnight. It will have a special Friday episode to celebrate the end of the show.
In this week’s repeats, you can see actor-mathematician Danica McKellar’s March appearance on Harry this Thursday.
On Tuesday former Vice President Al Gore will appear on The Daily Show, likely to promote his sequel to An Inconvenient Truth. He also appeared on The Late Show on July 17th to promote the film.
On Friday we have one of the frequent appearances by a cast member of The Big Bang Theory when Jim Parsons appears on The Talk.