This week is heavy on repeats. Even the new editions of The Tonight Show and Late Night are on break. Repeats of note:
Monday (tonight): Data Journalist Nate Silver on The Daily Show
Tuesday: Host of National Geographic’s Brain Games, Jason Silva, on Last Call with Carson Daly
Thursday: Primatologist Jane Goodall on The Colbert Report
Friday: Melissa Rauch (she plays a microbiologist on The Big Bang Theory) on The Late Show, Wally Pfister (director of Transcendance) on Last Call
Not all the programs are in repeats this week. Craig Ferguson, who could soon take the number two spot in terms of late night science and technology content, chats with Dominic Monaghan tonight. A new season of Monaghan’s animal program (Wild Things) is airing on BBC America in the U.S. I mention Monaghan, when I don’t usually mention animal experts, because his segments typically avoid in-studio stunts in favor of video clips and discussions of his travels. Kunal Nayyar, who plays one of the scientists on The Big Bang Theory, comes by on Wednesday.
About that change in the rankings. It was announced late last week that Stephen Colbert will take over for David Letterman sometime in 2015. Regular readers know full well how often science and technology guests (and similar content) appea on The Colbert Report. For instance, since the first of the month, Dan Harris plugged his science book, mathematician Edward Frenkel was a guest (and we saw a clip of Frenkel’s erotic math film!), and Stephen updated us on the continuing odyssey of shady dealings to obtain execution drugs. Once Colbert begins hosting an hour-long program on a broadcast network, it’s unclear how much time he’ll be spending on these matters. This Slate article anticipates a drop-off (and I find it interesting that the author approaches The Colbert Report in the context of other news programs), but I would note that of the broadcast late night programs, both The Late Show and The Late Late Show have on authors and scientific people more frequently than the others.