This week some shows are off, while others are just off tonight due to the federal holiday. Of those repeats (or in the case of The Daily Show, theme shows) none appear to have science or technology guests or content.
The new shows are similarly scarce. Former doctor who now plays one on TV Ken Jeong will be on The Tonight Show this Wednesday, but that’s it. Not even an animal expert to sort of tide one over for next week.
MythBusters: The Search will end its run on Saturday and reveal the people who will be part of a new MythBusters program. Four contestants remain, and one of the questions remaining besides who will ‘win’ is how many of them will ‘win.’ Producers have indicated there will be more than one MythBuster in the new program, but there could be a team of three rather than two busting myths for the audience. There is, of course, no guarantee of this new program lasting as long as its predecessor, but a fellow can hope, right?
We start the week with a rare daytime entry. Pauley Perrette, who plays a forensic scientist on NCIS, was on The Talk today (Monday).
We end the week (yes, it’s that thin a roster) with Tatiana Maslany. She stars as several clones in Orphan Black, which airs on BBC America. It’s final season premieres later this year.
There’s little else. StarTalk is done with its third season, and MythBusters: The Search airs another new episode on Saturday. The boy is from Mars, girls is from Earth film The Space Between Us came and went from the theaters, leaving February so far much emptier of science and technology entertainment content than I anticipated.
There is something new to look forward to. Bill Nye Saves The World will premiere on Netflix on April 21. The first season has 13 episodes, and this trailer provides highlights, including Bill’s extensive roster of correspondents and special guests.
If you thought you saw food scientist Alton Brown in the clip, you’re absolutely right. To learn more about the show’s correspondents, check out this video:
Before I dive into this week’s listings, an apology of sorts to StarTalk, which ends its third season tonight. Comedian Bill Maher is the main guest, and the Real Time host might actually dive into some scientific topics when talking with host Neil deGrasse Tyson.
I offer the apology as I’ve been inconsistent with noting the program this season, missing several episodes. While the show has emphasized pop culture a bit more this season, Tyson still brings things to science, even if it’s just to try and better understand exactly what a direwolf is (devotees of Game of Thrones will have some idea what I’m talking about).
Similarly, I’ve been negligent in noting new episodes of Science Goes to the Movies, also airing its third season through CUNY-TV and several PBS stations. Faith Salie is the sole host this season (possibly because co-host Dr. Heather Berlin is involved with an off-broadway show on neuroscience with her husband, rapper Baba Brinkman).
Anyway, on to this week’s listings. Hidden Figures continues to deliver at the box office, and star Janelle Monae sits down with Conan tonight (Monday). She plays one of the three NASA computers featured in the film. Jim Parsons is also in the film, but he’s more likely recognizable from The Big Bang Theory. His recent appearance on The Late Late Show re-airs on Thursday.
Also on tonight (Monday) is Johnny Galecki, who plays another one of the scientists on The Big Bang Theory. He’ll be on Last Call with Carson Daly.
MythBusters: The Search continues this Saturday on Science Channel. Three episodes and six contestants remain.
Yes, I’m late. Apologies, but physical labor and a head cold can sometimes make one sleep for many, many hours.
The biggest science and technology-themed entries this week are focused on Dr. Ken, a sitcom starring former doctor Ken Jeong. He will be on Thursday’s edition of Conan, and is joined by Suzy Nakamura, who plays his wife on the show (both characters are doctors) on Thursday’s edition of The Real. Another TV doctor is Rob Lowe (currently on Code Black) who is on with Jimmy Kimmel Wednesday. (So is animal expert Dave Salmoni, but I don’t usually list these segments.)
I’ll take Carla Gugino’s appearance on Wednesday’s edition of Live with Kelly as a chance to note the film The Space Between Us. The film chronicles the return to Earth of the first human born on Mars. Gugino has a small part in the film, which is being promoted as a teenage romantic film. How much science (including the biological impacts of birth on another planet) will be in the film isn’t clear. It premieres this Friday in the U.S.
Once again, not much to offer. The Search continues for the next crop of MythBusters, but I am not happy with the eliminations to date (anything more is spoilage). Then again, I’m not crazy about the idea of hosts being selected through a competition rather than a more conventional process.
This week the CBS programs are on repeats. A relevant one to catch (again?) this week is Thursday’s Late Late Show. That night you can see Chris Pratt’s recent appearance, where he was promoting the film Passengers.
An item I missed from last week was the return of Kevin Delaney to late night. A science educator and star of the new Science Channel program Street Science, he appeared on The Tonight Show Friday night.
The new offerings are light. Emily Deschanel, who plays a forensic anthropologist on Bones, will be on Wednesday’s edition of Harry. And that’s it. To fill that void, there’s a new episode of MythBusters: The Search on Saturday, and Delaney’s show airs new episodes Wednesdays on the Science Channel.
I’m still digesting what to make of the new administration with respect to science and technology policy. I hope to post on that later in the week.
The week starts off with two repeats of note tonight (Monday). Amy Adams, who plays a linguist in the recent film Arrival, is on tonight’s Jimmy Kimmel Live repeat (it originally aired last week). If you missed the MythBusters build team (Kari Byron, Tori Belleci, and Grant Imahara) on Last Call last month, it’s on again late tonight. The first season of their new program, White Rabbit Project, is available on Netflix.
As happens occasionally, cast members who play scientists on The Big Bang Theory make the rounds. This week Johnny Galecki can be seen Thursday night on The Late Show, and his co-star Jim Parsons will be on Late Night. Parsons can also be seen in Hidden Figures, the film about NASA mathematicians in the early space race.
On Tuesday, Lyft co-founder John Zimmer will be a guest on The Daily Show (which is airing a rare Friday episode in connection with the Inauguration). Michael Lewis will sit down with Conan O’Brien that same night, likely to discuss his latest book, The Undoing Project, which chronicles a scientific collaboration on decision-making research.
All shows are back on in new episodes this week. The pickings are relatively slim, unfortunately.
Hidden Figures, which just took first place in the U.S. box office this weekend, dominates the listings. A repeat of Kevin Costner’s appearance with Jimmy Kimmel (he plays a senior NASA official in the film) is on again Friday. Apologies for overlooking this in last week’s post. Also visiting Mr. Kimmel from the film is Octavia Spencer. She’ll be by on Thursday. Arrival star Amy Adams visits the show on Tuesday.
Tonight (Monday) is yet another new episode of Star Talk. The main guest is astronomer Jill Tarter and the topic of discussion is aliens. Also tonight on The Daily Show you can watch Trevor Noah interview new editor-in-chief of National Geographic Susan Goldberg.
MythBusters: The Search continues on Saturdays, but only through the end of February.