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2013 Upfronts: Fox, Seth MacFarlane to reboot Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’

Seth MacFarlane will produce the new "Cosmos."
(Matt Sayles / Associated Press)

Fox is looking to the stars – literally.

At their upfront presentation Monday at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, the network announced plans to reboot “Cosmos,” Carl Sagan’s massively popular documentary series. The new, 13-episode version will air sometime in 2014.

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In one of the more unlikely pairings in recent memory, it is produced by Seth MacFarlane and will be hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium and a popular recurring guest on “The Daily Show.”

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When it aired 33 years ago, “Cosmos” became the highest-rated series on PBS (a benchmark surpassed 10 years later by Ken Burns’ “The Civil War”). Hosted by Sagan, the series explored such issues as the threat of nuclear warfare, the Big Bang and the possibility of life on Mars. “Before there was ‘Downton Abbey,’ the biggest thing to happen to PBS was ‘Cosmos,’” said Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly.

The new “Cosmos” is part of a broader move at the network toward limited-run, event series including “24: Live Another Day,” coming in May, and “Wayward Pines” from director M. Night Shyamalan, also debuting next year.

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