10 Cool Things About Carl Sagan

Hosted Public Television's Most-Watched Show
Sagan co-developed and hosted the hit show “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.” © Tony Korody/Sygma/Corbis

Once described by a critic as a "scientific Robert Redford," Carl Sagan codeveloped and hosted the hit show "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage," a 13-part series that originally aired in 1980 on PBS. For 10 years, it was the channel's most-watched show in the U.S. until "The Civil War."

"Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" was a perfect blend of science and simplicity. It showcased Sagan's ability to explain complex principles in a way that viewers could easily understand. Sagan had envisioned a scientific series that harnessed TV's visual power, and with an $8 million production budget to power an array of special effects, he soon had viewers zipping through the universe on a virtual spaceship [source: Kiger]. The series won three Primetime Emmy Awards, a Hugo Award and a Peabody Award in 1981 [source: IMDB].

The show won over millions of viewers, too. Thanks to 500 million fans tuning in from 60 different countries, "Cosmos" still reigns as the world's most-watched series from American public television [source: Kiger].

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