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.
Welcome to 2017, everyone. Regrettably outside forces are keeping me to a weekly posting schedule, but I am still Tweeting.
Some shows are continuing their holiday breaks this week, even if just for tonight. Of this week’s repeats, Thandie Newton’s recent appearance with Carson Daly airs again on Wednesday. Newton plays one of the androids on the HBO series Westworld.
StarTalk continues Season 3 tonight with a focus on sports. The main guest is soccer goalie Hope Solo, and sports psychologist Brent Walker is also part of the show.
Relevant guests from this week’s new programs are courtesy of the historical drama Hidden Figures, which chronicles the work of some of the human computers the agency employed during the space race. The movie is opening wider, and you can catch Taraji Henson talk about it on Tuesday with Jimmy Kimmel. The same night her co-star Janelle Monae will talk with James Corden. Corden hosts another Hidden Figures actor, Jim Parsons, on Wednesday.
As I type this the MythBusters MegaMarathon is in it’s final 13 hours. The competition to find the next set of MythBusters starts on Saturday, with the television show MythBusters: The Search. I’m not sanguine about reality competition shows, but that is likely my only serious concern with an attempt to do a MythBusters sequel that involves all new hosts. After all, if part of what makes MythBusters good television is the chemistry of the hosts, I’m not sure how that’s effectively reviewed in a competition show. And if former MythBusters Imahara, Byron and Belleci weren’t already doing a new project on Netflix, I might be more put off by The Search. Regardless, 10 contestants will somehow be whittled down to some smaller number to attempt to put lightning back in a bottle. Good luck with that.
Very little new this week in the listings, and Conan as well as the Comedy Central programs are pre-empted this week. The MythBusters marathon continues, of course, as airing over 250 hours takes a bit of time.
There is a new StarTalk episode tonight, featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson’s interview with Defense Secretary Ash Carter. The episode will cover future warfare as well as current uses of satellites and space technology to support the military.
This week’s repeats feature several science and technology-themed guests and segments. Rami Malek of Mr. Robot is on again with Jimmy Kimmel tonight (Monday). With Passengers now in theaters, you can revisit some late night appearances of the two leads. Chris Pratt’s Tonight Show appearance will re-air on Tuesday, and Jennifer Lawrence’s latest appearance with Jimmy Kimmel will air again on Thursday. Likewise, Hidden Figures is now out in limited release and you can catch a repeat of star Taraji Henson’s appearance on Late Night this Thursday.
Thursday is the big night this week, as The Late Show will re-air its December episode with Vice President Biden. One segment of his interview involves the Cancer Moonshot and the recently signed into law Faster Cures legislation. Finally, Alton Brown’s recent appearance on Last Call will air again late Friday night.