×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Neil deGrasse Tyson Will Return to National Geographic After Assault Investigation

National Geographic Channel has completed its investigation into “Cosmos” and “StarTalk” host Neil deGrasse Tyson, and will move forward with both shows. The channel didn’t elaborate on its findings, however.

“‘StarTalk’ will return to the air with the remaining 13 episodes in April on National Geographic, and both Fox and National Geographic are committed to finding an air date for ‘Cosmos,'” the network said in a statement. “There will be no further comment.”

“Cosmos: Possible Worlds” and “Star Talk” have been in limbo for months, since Nat Geo launched an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against the famed astrophysicist.

Fox had originally scheduled the new season of “Cosmos” to premiere on Sunday, March 3, while Nat Geo had slated a second window to begin on Monday, March 4. Both networks later had to scrap those plans.

“Cosmos: Possible Worlds” is the third season of the revival of the “Cosmos” franchise, as originally created by legendary astronomer Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. (Fox aired the first season, while Nat Geo ran both the first and second seasons).

Fox and Nat Geo had given the show a 13-episode order, and it was also originally set to premiere as a global event in 172 countries and 43 languages. But the show’s official Twitter feed hasn’t posted since early November, opting not to address the change in plans.

The decision to put “Cosmos” on hold also delayed plans for National Geographic to publish a companion book, also titled “Cosmos: Possible Worlds,” by Druyan. Billed as a follow-up to Sagan’s bestseller “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” the original on-sale date was Feb. 19. Etailers including Amazon have pages for the book — but aren’t making it available for purchase.

While the launch of “Cosmos” was frozen, Nat Geo also yanked Tyson’s long-running chat show “StarTalk” off the air. “StarTalk” returned for its fifth season in November but had aired just three episodes, out of a 20-episode order, when new allegations against Tyson emerged.

Nat Geo began an investigation into Tyson after the website Patheos reported that two women had accused Tyson of inappropriate behavior: Bucknell University’s Dr. Katelyn N. Allers claimed Tyson groped her at an event in 2009, while a former assistant, Ashley Watson, said Tyson made repeated inappropriate sexual advances toward her.

Late last year, Fox and Nat Geo released a joint statement: “We have only just become aware of the recent allegations regarding Neil deGrasse Tyson. We take these matters very seriously and we are reviewing the recent reports.” The show’s producers, which include Druyan’s Cosmos Studios and MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door Productions, said in a statement in December that they “are committed to a thorough investigation of this matter and to act accordingly as soon as it is concluded.”

This wasn’t the first time Tyson had been accused of misconduct; musician Tchiya Amet has claimed that Tyson raped her when they were both graduate students in the 1980s.

The new allegations put Fox and Nat Geo in a jam when it came to “Cosmos,” as Tyson couldn’t easily be edited out of the show. Not only does he narrate the series, but he’s incorporated on-camera throughout the series.

Tyson wasn’t the only on-camera personality that Nat Geo has investigated over the past year over allegations of sexual misconduct. Last year, Morgan Freeman (who hosts and executive produces Nat Geo’s “The Story of God”) was accused of harassment by eight women in a CNN report. Nat Geo said it investigated and didn’t find any instances of wrongdoing on the production of “The Story of God,” and the show was reinstated. (Morgan even appeared at Nat Geo’s Television Critics Assn. press tour session last month, although he didn’t address the allegations there.)

For his part, Tyson denied the allegations in a Facebook post, and at the time said he welcomed an investigation: “In any claim, evidence matters. Evidence always matters. But what happens when it’s just one person’s word against another’s, and the stories don’t agree? That’s when people tend to pass judgment on who is more credible than whom. And that’s when an impartial investigation can best serve the truth – and would have my full cooperation to do so.”

More TV

  • Shefali Shah in Delhi Crime

    'Delhi Crime’ Wins big at Asian Academy Creative Awards

    Richie Mehta’s harrowing Netflix series “Delhi Crime” was the big winner at the 2nd annual Asian Academy Creative Awards in Singapore on Friday. Representing the show, lead actress Shefali Shah was rushed off her feet as she repeatedly had to return to the stage. “Delhi Crime” earned her best actress in a leading role, best [...]

  • KARNAWAL

    ‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, [...]

  • Robert Walker Jr.

    'Star Trek' Actor Robert Walker Jr. Dies at 79

    Robert Walker Jr., son of actors Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones, died Thursday, his family confirmed to the official website for the television show “Star Trek.” He was 79. Walker Jr. is best remembered for playing the titular Charlie Evans in the “Star Trek” episode “Charlie X” from the show’s first season in 1966. His [...]

  • Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right,

    TV Ratings: Why Is the NBA Shooting Air Balls?

    The NBA’s TV ratings so far this season have been far from all-star level. Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures. TNT’s coverage is averaging 1.3 million viewers through 14 telecasts, down 21% versus last year’s comparable coverage, while on ESPN the picture isn’t much prettier. The [...]

  • Claire Danes, Homeland

    TV News Roundup: Showtime Releases 'Homeland' Final Season Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Showtime drops the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,” and National Geographic reveals the first look at Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin in “Genius: Aretha.” FIRST LOOKS Showtime released the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,“ premiering Feb. 9. The eighth and final season, starring Claire Danes and [...]

  • 700700 + Ted Turner Dedication. December

    Ted Turner Tributes Established With WarnerMedia Gift to University of Georgia

    WarnerMedia has established a scholarship, internship program and exhibition hall at the University of Georgia to be named after maverick media mogul Ted Turner. The company has gifted $550,000 to the university to create the Ted Turner Scholarship Fund, for students attending the school’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is also the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content