EXCLUSIVE: PBS and Bill Nye are adding a new element to their longtime relationship. The pubcaster has acquired North American distribution rights to Bill Nye: Science Guy, the documentary that had its world premiere this year at SXSW. The plan is to give the film a significant theatrical release nationwide. It will have its TV premiere in 2018 on PBS’ long-running docuseries POV, which kicks off its 30th season later this month.
Nye’s long-running Bill Nye The Science Guy kids-focused science show aired on PBS for five seasons in the mid-1990s and won 19 Emmys. He is currently hosting Bill Nye Saves The World, a new late-night-style Netflix talk show that explores science and how it intersects with politics, pop culture and society.
Bill Nye: Science Guy, which is next up screening Sunday at AFI Docs and then the Los Angeles Film Festival, is plenty timely in the era of Paris accord withdrawals and EPA cutbacks. Directed by Jason Sussberg and David Alvarado, it focuses on Nye (not the kids show version), CEO of The Planetary Society, who is leading a mission to launch a solar-powered satellite and advocating for the importance of science, research and discovery. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Ann Druyan, Francis Collins, Heather Berlin, Eugenie Scott, Jim White, Michael Mann, Ken Ham, and Joe Bastardi are among the talking heads.
“Many of us grew up with Bill Nye The Science Guy. He loved science, and he inspired a whole generation of kids to share that passion through his PBS show,” said POV director/executive producer Justine Nagan. “Now, as champion for climate science, this film will spark dialogue across ideological lines.”
Seth Gordon, Kate McLean and Nick Pampenella are producers, and Mary Rohlich is executive producer. The deal was negotiated by Emily Rothschild, Nagan and Chris White for PBS/POV with WME on behalf of the filmmakers.