The fdebut of the Fox network’s Sunday science mini-series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey didn’t score huge ratings but it still did pretty well for a show about science. As hosted by noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and produced by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, Cosmos only pulled in around 8.5 million viewers during its debut last Sunday. That’s despite a heavy amount of buzz surrounding the project and a heavy promotional campaign from the network.
It also didn’t help that it had to go up against some serious competition in the ratings game such as AMC’s The Walking Dead, the new ABC show Resurrection and the season finale for HBO’s True Detective. This doesn’t mean that Fox has given up on the science series just yet. The network released a statement predicting that the overall ratings for the show will top 40 million once the global ratings are factored into their final totals.
That might sound like a disappointing number but the fact that such a show is on a major television network at all is a huge victory and 8.5 million is not bad for a show of Cosmos’ marketing caliber. If it wasn’t for Tyson’s star power (no pun intended) and MacFarlane’s influence on the network, such a show would never have made it to air outside of a PBS fundraising broadcast.
Plus, the first episode scored some glowing reviews for taking the bold step of daring to be something more than just a mindless distraction for its viewers. Don’t think of it as a small step for an ambitious show. Think of it as one giant leap for mankind. And a good excuse for us to have put together a bunch of Neil deGrasse Tyson memes.