I noted yesterday in the listings that Neil deGrasse Tyson is making the talk show rounds. Today he was on the ESPN program SportsNation to promote the upcoming third season of the StarTalk television show. Still on the National Geographic Channel in the U.S., the program will now premiere new episodes on Monday nights at 11. This puts the program in direct competition with a few of the traditional late night programs for the first time. In its previous timeslot on Sundays, StarTalk‘s major late night competition was Last Week Tonight on premium channel HBO.
(The StarTalk Radio program has expanded of late, with several of the program’s frequent guests and/or guest hosts now hosting episodes of Star Talk AllStars. If past practice holds, episodes of the television show eventually end up on the podcast, which may also be available in your local radio market and/or Sirius XM satellite radio.)
Right now the only guests linked to a specific date are Whoopi Goldberg (September 19) and Mayim Bialik (September 26). According to this publicity release from July, other guests for Season 3 will include:
Buzz Aldrin (astronaut)
Mayim Bialik (actor, “Big Bang Theory” and neuroscientist)
Ash Carter (U.S. Secretary of Defense)
Terry Crews (actor and former football player)
Brian Greene (theoretical physicist)
Herbie Hancock (musician) and Wayne Shorter (musician)
Simon Helberg (actor, “Big Bang Theory”)
Jeremy Irons (actor) and Matthew Brown (director)
Robert Kirkman (comic book writer and executive producer, “The Walking Dead”)
Jay Leno (comedian and talk show host)
Christopher Lloyd (actor) and Michelle Gomez (actor)
Bill Maher (comedian and talk show host)
Philippe Petit (tightrope walker)
Hope Solo (U.S. Soccer Team goalie)
Ben Stiller (actor and director)
Kathy Sullivan (astronaut and head of NOAA)
Jill Tarter (SETI astrophysicist)
Andy Weir (author, “The Martian”)
(Since the date of this press release, Hope Solo has been suspended from the U.S. Women’s National Team and may not return. It’s not clear to me when the interview was recorded, so there may or may not be a proverbial elephant in the room.)
While I can’t guess why every single guest was booked, I can shed some light on a few. Matthew Brown directed The Man Who Knew Infinity and Jeremy Irons starred in the film, which chronicles the life of mathematician Ramanujan (played by Dev Patel). Both Christopher Lloyd and Michelle Gomez have played characters who do a lot of time travel (in Back to the Future and Doctor Who, respectively). StarTalk has had talk show hosts and musicians as guests before, and we’ll see what links to science or technology might exist with either Ben Stiller or Terry Crews.
With 18 listed shows, this season of Star Talk will certainly run into 2017, possibly extended by no new episodes during the Thanksgiving and/or Christmas holidays.
You might find out more if you catch Tyson’s appearances on The Late Late Show (Wednesday night) or on Chelsea (released Wednesday on Netflix). Or just wait for Monday’s new episode.