Several programs were in repeats this past week. You could have re-watched Jim Parsons’ most recent appearance on Late Night this past Thursday. He plays a scientist on The Big Bang Theory and narrates the exploits of that character’s younger self on Young Sheldon.
The promotion for weather-control-gone-bad disaster movie Geostorm continued this week. Star Gerard Butler was on The Talk on Friday the 20th, the day the movie premiered in the U.S.
Self-described data journalist Nate Silver appeared on The Opposition on Wednesday the 18th. And since it’s a new month, there’s a new talk show appearance from a Big Bang Theory star. This time it’s Kunal Nayyar, who was on with Ellen DeGeneres this past Friday. He plays a scientist on the program.
Once again, I’m way late with this. Can’t blame anyone but myself.
There’s a film called Geostorm premiering in the U.S. this Friday, October 20. It seems to be in the same genre space as Into the Storm, The Core and other disaster films that aren’t terribly concerned about scientific plausibility. In other words, about 90 minutes of cornball action-adventure. The film involves apparent sabotage of a global satellite network intended to control the weather. Anyway, the star of the film, Gerard Butler, has been out promoting the film, and appeared on Late Night and Live with Kelly and Ryan this past Thursday (October 12).
Halt and Catch Fire, the AMC network’s television program focusing on a few people developing computer technology in the 1980s and 1990s, recently concluded. Lead Mackenzie Davis was on Late Night on October 9th to discuss the show.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is a recently released film focused on the psychologist William Marston, who helped develop the polygraph with his wife Elizabeth. The film is more focused on the relationship both Marstons had with one of their students and how all of this influenced Marston to create the Wonder Woman comic book. Luke Evans plays William Marston, and he visited with Stephen Colbert on the October 10th Late Show. Rebecca Hall plays Elizabeth Marston and she was on The Talk October 13th.
Tonight (Sunday) another episode of Star Talk premiered, featuring primatologist Jane Goodall. I really intend to have more on Star Talk‘s fourth season later this week (but I said something similar last week that didn’t pan out).
Yes, I’m late again…I’ll eventually try and explain why and get back to something resembling normal for this blog, but in the meantime, here’s the shows with science and technology content from last week.
I will note that both Star Talk and Science Goes to the Movies have new seasons currently airing. This deserves a separate post that I hope to get to later this week. I’ll note that the Star Talk season started on October 1 with an episode featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson’s interview with cyclist Lance Armstrong. Cycling journalist Max Glaskin joined Tyson and comedian Scott Adsit in studio, and cycling technology and technique were important parts of the Armstrong interview and the in-studio segments. Bioethicist Arthur Caplan joined the show when the discussion turned to performance enhancing drugs. The show can be seen in the U.S. on National Geographic Channel.
Star Talk host Tyson made a brief appearance on The Late Show Tuesday night to promote his show and participate in the Late Show‘s campaign to raise funds for Puerto Rico. The Late Show had a big week for science and technology content. On the October 5th (Thursday) show, Mr. Robot actress Grace Gummer talked at length about the Amazon electronic assistant Alexa, which features in at least one episode of the show. On the Friday show, host Stephen Colbert had a desk piece on DNA testing and white supremacists.
The Opposition with Jordan Klepper makes its first entry with last Tuesday’s edition (October 3). The show spent a segment exploring the current sweeping changes in play at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Part of the segment included an interview with former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
The movie Blade Runner 2049 premiered in the U.S. this past Friday, and two of the main actors appeared to promote the show. Ryan Gosling and Robin Wright appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on October 3 and 4, respectively. Harrison Ford visited Live with Kelly and Ryan on the 4th.
Finally, former MythBusters host Adam Savage was on Live with Kelly and Ryan this past Friday (the 6th). He was with his Brain Candy tour co-host Michael Stevens (host of the science-themed YouTube channel Vsauce) doing demonstrations and brain teasers.
Before diving into the week’s listings, a note that Star Trek: Discovery lead Sonequa Martin-Green was promoting the show on more than just the late night CBS programs last week. Martin-Green, who plays a xenoanthropologist on Discovery, was on both The Talk and Rachael Ray’s daytime talk show last Friday. Discovery premiered in the U.S. on September 24th and is available on CBS All Access in the United States and other streaming services worldwide. Early reviews suggest that the third episode – which will be available starting October 1st – will have a storyline involving the use of science and technology by the military.
Continuing with last week’s programs, TBS aired a prime-time Conan episode on September 19 where the host traveled to Israel. Part of the program involved Conan O’Brien’s visit to the headquarters of Waze, the company with a successful traffic analysis app.
On to this week. Wisdom of the Crowd is a new CBS show starring Jeremy Piven as a man who developed ‘crowdsourced crime-solving’ technology after his daughter’s murder. Piven promoted the program on The Late Late Show Monday night.
Once again, cast members of The Big Bang Theory are out promoting the latest season. However, Jim Parsons, who plays one of the scientists on the program, is also promoting the new show, Young Sheldon, which features his Big Bang Theory character as a nine year old kid entering high school. Clips suggest that at least some of the program will feature the budding young scientist doing research. He was on Late Night this past Monday.
Last night journalist Kathryn Miles was on The Daily Show to discuss her new book Quakeland. The book focuses on the history of human-induced earthquakes, which arguably pre-dates the recent increase in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
The big guest of the week is “Science Bob” Pflugfelder, who returns to Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight (Wednesday). And once again I wonder why Pflugfelder is only on Kimmel’s program and the various editions of what is now “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”
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.