COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS premieres Monday, March 9 on National Geographic.
COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS premieres Monday, March 9 on National Geographic. Supplied

The TV show watched by 135 million

Science is sexy.

That is what 135 million people who tuned into the second season of Cosmos will tell you.

The wildly popular science series returns to screens in its third outing with Possible Worlds on National Geographic, after the huge success of A Spacetime Odyssey, which aired back in 2014 and stands as the most watched science program in history.

Produced by Family Guy genius Seth MacFarlane and hosted by acclaimed astrophisict Neil deGrasse Tyson, the show, which will be available to stream on Foxtel Now from tonight, has been nominated for 12 Emmys (it won four) and is watched by 45 million in the US alone.

Possible Worlds is made up of 13 episodes with an emphasis on the future, and what it could look like in years to come. It comes 40 years after the original, hosted by late astrophysicist and astronomer, Carl Sagan.

Sagan's widow and creative partner, Ann Druyan, is the co-writer alongside Star Trek's Brannon Braga. She also produces and directs numerous episodes of the new series.

The third season is an effort of 1000 people and 17 visual effects companies, and deGrasse Tyson said it was "the most hopeful" yet.

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Host Neil deGrasse on the Monterey cliffs filming COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS, which premieres March 9, 2020 on National Geographic. (Patrick McElhenney/FOX)
Host Neil deGrasse on the Monterey cliffs filming COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS, which premieres March 9, 2020 on National Geographic. (Patrick McElhenney/FOX)

"We need some hope given our current circumstances. This is the most hopeful of the three Cosmos. In fact, personally, I think it's the best in every way," deGrasse Tyson told Extreme Tech.

"That sounds cliche because everybody always says that about their most recent project. I think if you watch enough of the episodes, I think you'll agree.

"Everyone just brought their A game. We're talking about all the people who typically make high-budget cinema.

"We brought them on to lend their … Not lend, of course they were compensated, but to give their talents.

An imagined human settlement on an exoplanet moon is offered as a reminder that we are capable of greatness. (Cosmos Studios)
An imagined human settlement on an exoplanet moon is offered as a reminder that we are capable of greatness. (Cosmos Studios)

"You combine the power of all of this, we are showing you not only worlds such as exoplanets, that's the first and obvious interpretation of possible worlds from the subtitle, but also worlds within us.

"There's the world of the mind, there's the quantum, there's the mycelium that's a network of roots that communicates electrochemically between and among plant species. And you say to yourself, whoa, that's an internet that preceded our internet, but that's a world."

The Ship of the Imagination emerges from the ocean of a long-ago Earth, before the sky was blue and the moon spun away from us to where it is today, as volcanoes poured forth molten lava. (Cosmos Studios)
The Ship of the Imagination emerges from the ocean of a long-ago Earth, before the sky was blue and the moon spun away from us to where it is today, as volcanoes poured forth molten lava. (Cosmos Studios)

Cosmos uses big-budget VFX, animations, holograms and re-enactments to carry viewers to never-before-seen worlds, as deGrasse Tyson narrates their captivating stories from origins at the bottom of the sea to what their future could be.

"This third season of Cosmos: Possible Worlds is our boldest yet," Druyan said.

"(It) will carry us places we never dared to venture before. Lost worlds and worlds to come, deep into the future and straight through that hole in the curtain masking other realities - and all of it rigorously informed by science and made real by lavish VFX."

Cosmos: Possible Worlds airs Monday, March 9 at 8.30pm AEDT on National Geographic, or available to stream on demand on Foxtel



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