Bill Nye, known as "The Science Guy" ever since a TV show of the same name basically owned the mid-1990s, will soon return to our screens. IndieWire reports that the veteran science communicator will star in a new Netflix series called "Bill Nye Saves the World," set to premier next spring.
For nerds of a certain age (sorry, but I'm about to talk about myself), Nye's influence is hard to overstate. Some of my earliest memories are of plopping down in front of the TV to watch him make science accessible and cool. The theme song will never get out of my head, and I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.
Nye has had an impressive career resurgence in recent years, no doubt in part because his original fan base is now grown up and endowed with spending power and no small amount of '90s nostalgia. He published two books in 2015, made a habit of engaging with those who deny evolution and climate change in public debates and brought the Planetary Society into the headlines as the space-exploration advocacy group's gregarious CEO. He also appeared on "Dancing With the Stars."
When I spoke to Nye about his friend and fellow science superstar Neil deGrasse Tyson's own talk show in 2015, he admitted (after some prodding) that he could see the nerdy seeds he'd sown in 1993 bearing fruit in the general populace.
"Sure, sure, it's all me," he joked. "But it's true that 'The Science Guy' is still huge — bigger than ever, I guess — because these millennials are all grown up, and we have a whole new generation of kids watching the show in school. This of course was my goal, to change the world and so on, but to see it actually happen is a bit spooky," he said.
Nye brings up that lofty goal a lot. If I searched the phrase "change the world" on my work computer, I'm pretty sure nine out of 10 results would be notes from interviews with him. So it's no surprise that he's leaning into the cheeky motto and using it as a title for his new show.
Here's the official synopsis from Netflix, as reported by IndieWire:
Each episode will tackle a topic from a scientific point of view, dispelling myths and refuting anti-scientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders or titans of industry.
Netflix promises to preserve Nye's “unfiltered style” while using interviews and experiments to educate viewers on everything from climate change to GMOs. In other words, he's going to be doing exactly what he's been doing for the past few years, but now we get to marathon it all on Netflix. Phil Plait (who blogs as The Bad Astronomer over at Slate) is on board as the show's head science writer, so you can expect good things. Thank goodness, because pretty much every millennial on Earth will be waiting with bated breath.
No pressure, Bill.