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Hosted the 'Cosmos' Reboot

More than three decades after Carl Sagan's groundbreaking and iconic series, 'Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,' Tyson starred in an updated version.

FOX via Getty Images

Thirty-four years after "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" debuted, a fan helped bring it to life again. Only this was no ordinary fan. It was Neil deGrasse Tyson, who in 2014 hosted "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" on Fox TV and the National Geographic Channel -- and introduced a new generation to the mysteries of the universe.

Tyson's 13-episode "Cosmos" series presented some big shoes to fill. The original series was the most-watched show on U.S. public television for an entire decade. The host was Tyson's mentor, Carl Sagan, who died in 1996. Sagan's widow, Ann Druyan, a writer on the original series, was a writer for the "Cosmos" reboot, which often gave a nod to Sagan through location or reference. The first episode, for example, began on the California coast in the same spot Sagan filmed more than three decades ago.

Despite all these similarities, or maybe because of them, acting as host was surreal for Tyson. "Everything we did, at least to me, was novel," he said. "I took pictures as though I was an anthropologist observing a tribe of filmmakers" [sources: Tepper, Kramer].

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