Noted astrophysicist and fun-loving troller of Christians Neil deGrasse Tyson has landed his own talk show. Deadline reports that the National Geographic Channel is turning the popular talk-show guest into a talk-show host, remaking his Star Talk podcast into the network’s first late-night talk show.
Tyson, who jumped several thousand rungs higher in the American collective consciousness last year when he hosted Fox’s reboot of Cosmos, discussed the new show at Nat Geo’s TCA presentation. He stressed that the show’s emphasis would be on making a broadly accessible and entertaining show that will not court controversy, although one of his first guests will be famous atheist Richard Dawkins. Tyson also said that he won’t feature many scientists on the show—as he points out, he’s kind of got that angle covered:
“It’s a mixture of comedy, science and pop culture. I’m the host, yet I’m the scientist! And my guests are hardly ever scientists. Our goal is to hew them from pop culture.”
Nat Geo undoubtedly hopes that the podcast’s built-in audience (it was one of iTunes’ top 10 podcasts of 2014) will follow Tyson to his new home on TV, a format friendlier to science fiction than straight science. Tyson himself doesn’t follow science fiction on television—despite his penchant for tweeting science-based reviews of certain big-budget movies, he says he avoids TV sci-fi due to its limited budgets. He did single out The Big Bang Theory as evidence that science is becoming more mainstream, however, joking, “Let’s feature five PhD scientists talking science jokes you don’t understand—it will be funny!” It just goes to show that even an astrophysicist can misunderstand America’s endless appetite for laughing at nerds.