Usually, when I have free time on Sunday nights, I try to watch The Simpsons and Family Guy on Fox, but I might just have to change that routine. A blog reader who works for the National Geographic Channel tipped me to a couple of upcoming space-related programs. Alien Earths and Hawking's Universe will air back-to-back on Sunday, August 23. In addition, the struggling space-based relationship drama Defying Gravity continues with its fifth episode on ABC (see previous episodes on Hulu). With all of these shows to watch, I guess my TiVo will get a workout this Sunday. Below are the media blurbs and teaser videos about the shows:
Join leading astronomers on a visual journey beyond our solar system in search of planets like Earth. Using CGI animation, we’ll explore bizarre worlds that stretch our imagination: planets with iron rain and hot ice, with diamonds everywhere, and endless oceans of gas. Planets with abnormal orbital patterns and planets with no pattern at all that drift alone in the Milky Way. Planets so strange we never could have predicted them before. Could life exist there?
NAKED SCIENCE: HAWKING’S UNIVERSE
Stephen Hawking is one of the world’s most famous scientists. But ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, has left him almost totally paralyzed and it is progressing. Unable to walk, talk, or write, his only way of communicating is through a computer program that turns a small movement of a finger or the blink of an eye, into words from a vocal synthesizer. But Hawking remains determined to discover a theory of everything, a complete set of rules for the Universe. Where did the Universe come from and where is it going? What is the nature of time? Will it ever come to an end? This program will explore Hawking’s major contributions to the understanding of our Universe - from his revolutionary proof that our Universe originated in a Big Bang; to his ground breaking discovery that Black Holes are not completely black, but rather emit radiation and eventually evaporate and disappear, to his insights on string theory. Will he unlock the secret of creation before his time runs out?
Set in the year 2052 (with flashbacks to five years earlier in the story's continuity), the series follows eight astronauts—four women and four men—from five countries on a six-year space mission on board the international spacecraft Antares as it tours through the Solar System. In spite of a libido-suppressing device worn by each crew member, romantic entanglement will occur. Further complicating their lives is a mysterious storage pod with a secret impact on their mission, referred to as Beta. The series was pitched to networks as "Grey's Anatomy in space."