Mark your calendars: Bad Universe premieres August 29!

By Phil Plait | August 18, 2010 12:00 pm

I am very, very happy to announce that the pilot for my TV show, "Phil Plait’s Bad Universe" now has an official slot in the Discovery Channel lineup: Sunday, August 29th at 10:00 p.m. (ET)!

Woohoo!

As a reminder, and because it cracks me up, here’s the trailer for the show:

Check your local listings for times, but it repeats that night at 01:00, too.

I can’t say too much about the show other than what I have already, but I plan on doing some things next week as it gets closer to air… like a giveaway contest (you’ll love that, and you’ll want to win, trust me) and a live tweeting of the show. There may be other things too, but I’m still working on it.

Stay Tuned… and I do mean that literally this time!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Bad Universe, Cool stuff, TV/Movies
MORE ABOUT: Discovery Channel

Comments (107)

  1. Allen

    Good stuff, can’t wait!

  2. Chris

    Can’t wait to watch it on youtube. I don’t have cable.

  3. I’m sure you think your show will be the premier science show on television, but maybe you should wait for the premiere to boast.
    :P

  4. I will be traveling at the time in a fairly rural area…won’t even have television where I am staying. Hopefully will be able to find a nearby place to watch. If not, the DVR will catch it.

    My ideal situation would be to find a place where I can watch it with a bunch of people and be just as snarky to the show as I am to you IRL :)

  5. Tivo season pass added. You pronounce your name Plit? I’ve been saying it wrong in my head for years! :)

  6. I will be watching. I wish your serious lots of success and believe this one could be a winner.

    I’m at a physics conference and during one of the breaks a bunch of cosmologists were having a good laugh at some of Stephen Hawking’s latest warnings of mankind’s imminent danger. (Do get me wrong, we all deeply respect Hawking.) My point is I just hope the discovery channel doesn’t sensationalize the “how the world might end” material you are covering too much. You don’t want your show to be yet another Discovery Channel series real scientists roll their eyes at.

  7. Kevin

    What’s up with this video? The sound quality is horrible!

  8. DVR will be set as soon as I get home!

  9. Do you know if this is going to be picked up by Canada’s Discovery Channel or not?? Or any other Canadian network? Or will I be able to watch it on Discovery’s US website?

  10. Philip Stark

    It looks like Mythbusters but with astronomy ^^ Yay!

  11. Pablo

    Any clues about latin-america discovery channel ‘airing’ dates ?

  12. I can’t see it. Where is it?!

    (I kid I kid!)

    Look forward to it!

  13. toasterhead

    Way cool. I’ll be watching…

  14. Tessa

    YAAAAAAY!! I can’t wait to watch this and see what competitions you have in stall for us :D You are the reason i have a great passion for astronomy, i hope i become an astronomer when i’m older haha.

  15. BigBadSis

    Tony: It’s pronounced plate.

  16. alezmendi

    Can’t wait! Just shame that you have to share a network with anti-sciencers like Sarah Palin.

  17. QuietDesperation

    I’ll watch if you promise to eat a big bug like Bear Grylls in Man Vs. Wild.

    It looks like Mythbusters but with astronomy ^^ Yay!

    Wait… Phil’s going to *test* the killer asteroid theory? Should I be hitting the button that lowers Villa Del Desperation into the subterranean bunker?

    You pronounce your name Plit?

    It’s Mr. Plait to you, buddy.

    Or Miss Jackson if you’re nasty.

  18. Erica

    Seconding @Brian Lang! Your Canadian audience must know!!!

  19. NAW

    Like a number of other people, I’ll have to wait for it to be put online. Don’t got cable.

  20. But when will it air in Canada???

  21. Oh, and one more nit, Dr. BA (sir), in your narration you probably want to end with, “It just might save your life,” instead of “It just may save your life.” Permission vs. possibility.

    Script consulting services available, upon request. Cheap!

  22. Sorry, not usually such a grammar nazi. My meds are wearing off…

  23. Old Rockin' Dave

    Sorry, Phil, you know I’m your fanboy, but 10 PM on a Monday? Even you can’t pull me away from the latest episode of “MI-5″.

  24. JHGRedekop

    Another Canadian here chiming in — please let us know when you hear about Canadian broadcasts!

  25. Make me another curious Canadian. Let us know when we can watch.

  26. Jean-Denis

    Sigh, here in France, when – if – it’s broadcast, it’s going to be dubbed down…

    Fortunately, we do have peer to peer.

  27. I thought it was pronounced Plate, but in the video it sounded like he said Plit. :)

  28. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem that the Discovery Channel in Canada is going to be carrying the show at all. There’s no mention of it in the listings for August 29th (we get 9 hours of repeating the same three episodes of Mythbusters), nor do I see it on their website at all.

    I really hope that it is available online in the event that it’s not carried up here in our frozen northern wasteland.

  29. Dennis

    DVR – subscribed.
    Looking forward to it.

  30. Jim

    I just set this up on the DVR.

    Oh, the on screen Information for the show said “An astronomer … No cast information available.” Phil, you might want to call your agent.

  31. Thomas Siefert

    @Tony, maybe he has been hanging out with Kiwis lately.

  32. @QD,

    Not Mr. but DOCTOR Plait! He didn’t go to evil medical school for… wait… Oh, you know! :D

  33. Christine P.

    Looking forward to it!

  34. Ommapaul

    Please tell us when it will be shown in the UK!

  35. Itzac

    Looks like it won’t be airing in Canada anytime soon. :(

  36. NewEnglandBob

    Sorry, my daughters wedding is that day and takes precedence. I will just have to DVR it.

  37. Yaksman

    This just in: Phil Plait hates Canada, may be planning to target us with killer asteroids.

    Anyone got any contacts at Discovery Channel Canada?

  38. Ken

    WOOT! Can’t wait, Mr. Plait (get it? Hehehe…).

    Great speech at TAM, also. I thoroughly agree with the concerns you presented.

  39. First, I read alezmendi say that Phil was sharing “a network with anti-sciencers like Sarah Palin.”

    Then, I read QuietDesperation’s:

    It looks like Mythbusters but with astronomy ^^ Yay!

    Wait… Phil’s going to *test* the killer asteroid theory? Should I be hitting the button that lowers Villa Del Desperation into the subterranean bunker?

    Then my brain combined the two and imagined Phil targetting Sarah Palin with asteroids. Not that he’d do that, mind you. At least, not with a really big one… ;-)

  40. el jefe

    Setting the DVR as soon as I get home, AWESOME!!!!!

  41. Naomi

    Phi-il! Did you HAVE to blow up my home city?

    Anyway. I’m currently in the US, but we don’t, er, have TV. Will it be streaming anywhere? Pretty sure the Canadians want in on it, too!

  42. Added it as a season pass to my TiVo.

  43. Are you, like Mythbusters, taking ad money from Glenn Beck?

  44. Kevin F.

    10 pm????? I leave for work at 10:30pm! Phil, how could you!?!?!?!

  45. Darth Wader

    So they have you on at the same time as mythbusters and then after both of those shows end each channel has a survival show.

    Why are they competing with themselves? I demand answers!

  46. Stubby

    Well I will probably have to download it I’m afraid. It could be months until it makes its way to Canada. :(

  47. Greg in Austin

    You did a TV show?

    Cool. You should write a book!

    8)

  48. Denver Laura

    I love your blog and am so excited about this show! Hopefully it will be on hulu or another internet source for those of us who are cable-less. Congrats! I am sure it will be picked up if it is as good as the preview!

  49. TSC

    Dang it, BA. Another disappointed Canadian, over here. Is it streaming somewhere, or will I have to… er… watch it some other way?

  50. Daniel J. Andrews

    Another Canuck here joining the chorus disappointment. :(

  51. LeslieS

    I’ve been telling everyone I know about this! Looking forward to the premiere.

  52. Andrew

    Awesome and I’ll be back in the US for six days as well, I can acctually watch.

  53. Wow! I hope videos will be available so I can show them to my science classes!

  54. Trebuchet

    Other than Phil and Mythbusters, I couldn’t help noticing that every other show in the listings is complete cr*p. Pretty sad, really. TLC (now officially just “TLC”, once “The Learning Channel”) is even worse. The History Channel, owned by a different company than Discovery and TLC, is only a little better.

    And with PBS seemingly devoting most of its time to repeat Yanni concerts, it’s pretty hard to know where to turn.

  55. Frying Dutchmen

    Congrats. I’m guessing no word on when I can watch it legibility over here in Australia?

  56. Grand Lunar

    At last, a launch date!

    Interesting you start with the same topic as the first chapter in “Death from the Skies”.
    It’s like this is the TV companion!

    At least it’s on at a time that I can watch it without competing with my folk’s paranormal programs (blaaaaaaaaah!).

  57. QuietDesperation

    Sorry, Phil, you know I’m your fanboy, but 10 PM on a Monday?

    It’s 2010, you know. They have these magical devices that can time shift shows.

    Cripes, they were practically giving VCRs away free in breakfast cereal several years ago.

    I couldn’t help noticing that every other show in the listings is complete cr*p.

    Discovery split up years ago. All the good stuff is over on the The Science Channel.

    Congrats. I’m guessing no word on when I can watch it legibility over here in Australia?

    Maybe someone will bit torrent it. Unless legibility there was supposed to be legally. :)

    Check Discovery site, too. They may stream it themselves after a few airings.

  58. Shows on Discovery Canada are typically a few months behind. And then show up without fanfare so I miss them :-( .
    There are enough of us following this blog (shhhhh, or we’ll blow our quiet, friendly world domination plans), someone will have to notice eventually when it shows up.

  59. Katie

    Is it going to be for sale on iTunes? Don’t get cable or satellite, and iTunes is how I watch Mythbusters.

  60. NewOrleansAstronomer

    Wonderful coincidence – it’s the 5th anniversay of Hurricane Katrina. Five years ago I was packing what was shortly to become all my worldly possessions in two cars getting ready to evacuate from New Orleans. One question, though – I evacuated to Houston for Katrina. Where to you go for an asteroid strike? Mars is starting to sound pretty good.

  61. Messier Tidy Upper

    Excellent! Hope it gets lots of ratings and great reviews. :-D

    @18. QuietDesperation Says:

    … Wait… Phil’s going to *test* the killer asteroid theory? Should I be hitting the button that lowers Villa Del Desperation into the subterranean bunker? ..

    I’d love to see the “killer asteroid” theory tested – but on some other planet – Mars or Mercury please! ;-)

    Seriously if we could conduct an experiemnt of deflecting amajor asteroid or comet onto Mars or Venus or Mercury , that’s be awesome and well worth doing. (The Moon is little tooclose for comfort though.)

    @22. kuhnigget Says:

    Oh, and one more nit, Dr. BA (sir), in your narration you probably want to end with, “It just might save your life,” instead of “It just may save your life.” Permission vs. possibility.

    Really? I thought the two words were pretty much interchangeable & could both be used in either the permission or possibility sense.

  62. Messier Tidy Upper

    I just wish it was being shown on free-to-air TV (the only sort I can afford) in Australia and not pay-TV in the US only. :-(

    @41. TechyDad Says:

    First, I read alezmendi say that Phil was sharing “a network with anti-sciencers like Sarah Palin.” Then, I read Quiet Desperation’s : “Wait… Phil’s going to *test* the killer asteroid theory? Should I be hitting the button that lowers Villa Del Desperation into the subterranean bunker?” Then my brain combined the two and imagined Phil targetting Sarah Palin with asteroids. Not that he’d do that, mind you. At least, not with a really big one…

    You mean like in the cartoon featuring here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2008/11/21/disaster-2012/

    perhaps? ;-)

  63. ggremlin

    Very good, just before I go to work.

    Great lead in to, “Last Days of the Dinosaurs”, see what killed them, now see what will kill us! I was hoping for a new “Mythbusters”, but at least it is not “Man vs Wild”.

  64. chesscanoe

    Watching fullscreen at 1080p is great, but the sound is terrible! Hope the real show is more audibly intelligible, or I won’t be able to tolerate watching it.

  65. JGlanton

    Congratulations! I cannot wait to watch, it should be stimulation.

    Hmmmm, just don’t blow your big shot at fame and credibility by acting like a global warming religionist fool. You know, be a scientist, not a dick.

  66. gravespinner

    It seems there are enough Canadians that have checked the schedule and noted the show does not appear to have been picked up by Discovery Canada that we could do something about it. With disc.ca having a less complete lineup, and the usual internet blockage of US TV programs it is either a write in campaign or a stable proxy.

  67. Muzz

    56. Trebuchet Says:
    Other than Phil and Mythbusters, I couldn’t help noticing that every other show in the listings is complete cr*p.

    I dunno. Les Stroud is usually good value.

    Anyway, good luck Phil. I think Discover has a deal with Australia’s SBS. With any luck they’ll get it soon.

  68. BigBob

    Get Down you Bad Astronomer!!!

    Bob(Big)

  69. Messier Tidy Upper

    @68. Muzz :

    Anyway, good luck Phil. I think Discover has a deal with Australia’s SBS. With any luck they’ll get it soon.

    I sure hope so! That’d be awesome! :-)

    SBS often carries some good science docos and programs and they broadcast Mythbusters there too. Plus they have few ads & ad breaks. Their news service is good too. [Leaving computer and going to turn TV on for SBS World News right now.] :-)

  70. Benji

    Arggghhh I may be back in Germany JUST in time to see it, but maybe not… life is cruel.

  71. blueshifter

    fearmonger, much?

  72. G. Tingey

    Is it going to be possible to get downloads in the UK /Europe?

  73. Kathy A.

    Wah! Not in my DVR listings yet!

    Phil, will you please remind us again a week before? (Somehow, I think you’ll manage to do that… *grin*)

  74. Dude, Phil, it looks really really good. If it’s half as good as the trailer makes it out to be, you’re going to have a popular show.

  75. Very cool Phil. Can’t wait

  76. @73 blueshifter:

    What??

  77. Adelia

    looking forward to learning some cool facts ! Cheers Phil & Good Luck

  78. Jamie

    I’m usually so happy to be a Canadian, but now I’m so sad…..We are always far behind on Mythbusters and now we won’t see this for who knows how long either. Sigh.

  79. DGKnipfer

    Sorry Phil,

    Watching NFL Sunday Night Football. I can’t believe you let them stack you up against football. Good luck. I’ll try to catch the reruns.

  80. Cindy

    DGKnipfer,

    The NFL season doesn’t start until September 9th. You’ll be missing a pre-season game that doesn’t count. Or you can record Phil’s show if you don’t want to miss any of the game.

  81. Paul Judd

    Alas, I will have to catch a re-run since I don’t have the Discovery Channel any more – my folks will DVR it for me though.

  82. uncle duke

    Awright, lottsa stuff getting blowed up. Big and goo d!

    Seriously, looks good, for your mission statement if nothing else.

  83. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    “I need a big explosion”

    You, me, the saturday night party girl; we all need one!

    Anyway, substituting “Hollywood Science” with “Bad Science” may or may not be useful.

    There is very little risk that species or individuals goes extinct from asteroids, most species and individuals have died from other causes. But even without actual ROI it is risk cutting, and it isn’t often we can do that in the business of living.

    So, yes, it isn’t clear cut but we can do that. Maybe we should, even, if not else because we will learn stuff in the process. And _that_ is almost always exchangeable to ROI in the end.

    Other than Phil and Mythbusters, I couldn’t help noticing that every other show in the listings is complete cr*p.

    P & M also blow cr*p up.

  84. Old Rockin' Dave

    Quiet Desperation responded to me:
    “Sorry, Phil, you know I’m your fanboy, but 10 PM on a Monday?
    It’s 2010, you know. They have these magical devices that can time shift shows.”
    My DVD recorder is slaved to my cable box and the cable provider can’t tell me how to fix that.

  85. Can’t wait, but if I catch even a glimpse of Simcha Jacobovici, I’m changing the channel to Les Stroud’s show. ;-)

  86. Tarou

    @47 Darth Wader

    Phil’s show isn’t competing with Mythbusters. They’re on the same network, different days.
    General myths will be busted on Wednesdays, Astro myths on Sundays.

  87. Just programed the DVR.

  88. «bønez_brigade»
  89. Sticks

    Will this be available in the UK?

    It seems we don’t get everything here Phil does, for instance last time I checked, Death from the Skies was not available in the UK. It has to be imported with all the accompanying freight charges and import duties slapped on and it takes months to be shipped across.

    Hint Hint…

  90. Whooooooo!

    And I’ve moved away from California ten years ago, and am now living in Munich. Curses!
    Well, I don’t have a TV anyway. Will you sell this on DVD? I’d buy it from you in an instant! :-D

  91. David McCaffery

    The show looks brilliant…and I’m sure it will be!!! All the best Phil.

  92. Moe

    I hope the Canadian Discovery Channel picks this up. I really want to see it.

  93. Kevin

    I’m on pins and needles Phil!!!

  94. Sheryl

    Got it set to record all episodes with my DVR. Looks good!

  95. I hope that you don’t mind, Phil, but I’m going to have to pirate this one. Discovery Canada has a whole bunch of missing content compared to its American counterpart.

  96. pete harmon

    way cool i’ll give your show a shot i hope it is successful and share some new insight on the workings of the universe

  97. Randy

    Add me to the list of folks annoyed with Discovery Canada. If it isn’t going to carry largely the same schedule as the real Discovery channel, it shouldn’t even be using the name. (Not to mention the HD version of the channel doesn’t even match the SD channel, so you can’t watch some shows in HD).

  98. Missy

    I am going nuts trying to find when they are going to air the other two sections of the pilot! Any news?

  99. Flah

    I happened to walk into my living room when Discovery Channel was showing an unrelated documentary that included Phil in its lineup of experts. I thought for a second that Bad Universe was actually being shown in Canada within only a week of it airing in the US. And then Michio Kaku appeared and I felt robbed. I have to echo the sentiments of my fellow Cannucks regarding Discovery Canada’s delays in obtaining shows from the US. Is it really that much of a hassle to get this across the border?

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