The Bad Astronomer’s Bad Universe

Breaking news!!

Phil Plait has been teasing us for what seemed like forever about a super secret project in the works. The wait is over! And it’s totally *SQUEE* worthy! Clear your TiVO queues to make room for Bad Universe on Discovery!

Who doesn’t love them some doomsday scenarios? Also, who doesn’t love them some Phil Plait? I’m off to buy a TV!


Chelsea is the proud mama of an amazing toddler-aged girl. She works in the retail industry while vehemently disliking mankind and, every once in a while, her bottled-up emotions explode into WordPress as a lengthy, ranty, almost violent blog. These will be your favorite Chelsea moments. Follow Chelsea on Twitter: chelseaepp.

Related Articles


  1. This is one of the very few reasons why I’d get cable. (Daily Show, Colbert Report and Futurama are the other ones.) But it’s still not quite enough to make me pay for it. Alas, I shall have to wait until it’s available for free.

  2. I wish they’d tell us when it starts (or did I miss that part?) so I knew when to start checking our home-built DVR’s listings…it’s not listed yet.

    Why do networks withhold that information so long? Like with Futurama, they said coming soon for months, then said June for awhile, and clearly by then they knew which date in June but waited until right up close to say the date.

    Just tell us exactly when and we’ll set our recording devices!

  3. OMG, wonderful. I remember when I discovered Bad Astronomy and Phil Plait – I was working at a planetarium and found the forum while doing random internet searches. Then I discovered the website of awesome myth-debunking and the blog. That job and his site solidified my path toward skepticism, and lead me to Skepchick.

    I heart Phil, and cannot wait to see his show. I hope it’s aired online somewhere, since I can’t afford cable.

  4. Sweet Martha Washington! That’s so cool!

    So, if this news is breaking now, while Phil is at Comic Con, does that mean that it was officially announced at Comic Con? Was there some sort of preview beyond what we’ve seen here? Can’t wait to find out more! SQUEEEEeeeee…..

  5. Phil said they haven’t set an air date as of yet. Sometime in the fall. So keep an eye out!

    SO cool!!!! Yay Phil!!!!

  6. This is (to use a common Phil-ism) so frakkin’ cool. I was hoping his Sooper Sekrit project was a TV show. I can’t wait for this to air. It will be the shit.

  7. Hum. Maybe this is just me, but I really really hope that they just packed a lot of action scenes into the trailer and the real (i.e. relevant) stuff will be more rational and fact-based.
    I immensely enjoyed “Death from the Sky” because it was the opposite of so many other pop-science books. It didn’t try to exaggerate and impress with big explosions and stuff but instead you got some good info about the basic stuff.

    This being a show with Phil Plait it hopefully will be the same way. But I still have trouble reconciling this trailer with Death and Plaits Don’t be sensationalistic!-Mantra.

  8. @kimberlychapman: Reason 1: “Coming soon”, “coming this fall”, etc. keeps your attention for longer than “9pm, September 4th, 2010”, and also makes sure you come back again and again waiting for more detailed information.

    Reason 2: So you set your PVR to tape for tree hours (to be safe) from 8pm – 11pm on September 4th, 2010, and then you go on vacation. In the meanwhile The berry men, a series of shows about cloud berry picking on the Finnmark plateau, is a very unexpected success and Discovery decides to rearrange its fall schedule. You come back and find you’ve recorded something completely unexpected and uninteresting, and then you bitch and moan about how mean Discovery is to not stick to their promise.

    3. And who knows, maybe it’s just to be dicks. I’ve no connections in the industry, I’m just guessing here.

  9. @Manly Bowler: Well, I’m sure it won’t be overly sensationalistic, but there will probably be explosions and stuff like that only because unlike a lot of us here, the rest of the country is more prone to wanting to see that kind of thing or else they get bored and move on. I expect there to be some solid science on this show, and Phil’s natural charisma to win over the audience (at least hopefully, I’d like to see this being a multi-season series instead of a one off).

    Apart from that, I am totally going to season pass this through iTunes as I refuse to buy cable. And to @vbalbert, you do realize Colbert Report and the Daily Show are both online for free in their entirety right now right, and in a legitimate, not stealing from the networks, sort of way? You don’t need cable to watch them just a computer an a high speed connection. And if you don’t mind buying DRM’d episodes, futurama is available through iTunes at 1.99 an ep, (can’t recall the full season price). It’s ultimately cheaper than a monthly subscript to a cable network, and if you end up with only 2 or 3 shows that you are purchasing, that ain’t too bad.

  10. Great clip!

    Glad the news is out now. I learned about the show back in December through another project I was working on and was asked to not tell anyone. Very difficult keeping quiet about it.

  11. @Steve: That must have been difficult, not to cave in.

    And, hooray!!! But like others here, I can’t swing cable, so I’ll have to wait til it’s online. But that’s okay :)

  12. “Smells like mass extinction!” Great line, I wonder if Neil deGrasse Tyson is jealous.

  13. @Manly Bowler(and killyosaur): It’s the “Mythbuster” template: Take science, pack in one-liner jokes and explosions and you’ve got a winner.

    OTOH… I must say it’s a LOT better than the traditional templates and 1000% better than the History Channel which seems to think if you put Nostrodamus and/or the Myans and/or a Biblical myth, and/or aliens, and/or a random monster legend… add some whack-jobs that pass themselves off as experts and some experts that aren’t allowed to finish a full sentence on camera and say: “It’s history” then you’ll somehow get the truth.

    I wish Phil a long and happy Television career, and give Discovery Channel MASSIVE props for this series. Here’s to much more of the same.

  14. @swordsbane: Yeah, I know, that’s kind of the jist of my post, just more succinct. Producers do what works, and when it comes to skeptical content in an entertaining format, Mythbusters, and shows like it, works. So I expect there to be explosions, I expect there to be jokes (and this being Phil Plait, corny puns), and I hope that it is as entertaining and informative as Phil’s other endeavors and that people who aren’t necessarily part of the skeptic movement, watch and are informed as much as they will hopefully be entertained.

    Also. I have seen SyFy originals more informative than most of the pap that plays on the history channel these days, which isn’t saying much considering that network has the Ghost Hunters on it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button