TV Review: Fox’s ‘Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey’

Fox premieres Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey—the remake of PBS’Cosmos series—on Sunday March 9, 9 p.m. ET on Fox, FX, FXX, FXM, Fox Sports 1 and 2, Nat Geo, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo and Fox Life. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“Lowbrow comedy titan Seth MacFarlane executive producing a reboot of Carl Sagan’s iconic science series Cosmos sounds like a bad joke right out of, well, Family Guy, but somehow the improbable gambit works. Fox’s bold move to reserve 13 weeks of prime Sunday-night real estate for the kind of docu fare usually associated with PBS — however lavishly produced it may be — speaks volumes about both MacFarlane’s sway and the current ‘We’ll try anything!’ state of the major networks.”
—Geoff Berkshire, Variety

“It's a show that stands entirely on its own while never forgetting the series that inspired it. Tyson begins the series on the same cliff that Sagan stood on at the start of his Cosmos, and the new show's premiere concludes with a touching personal story about the 17-year-old Tyson getting to meet his scientific idol. It's a show about cold science that has plenty of room for warm emotion — and, in the Giordano Bruno segment, for faith — and is far more sincere and effective than you might have expected when you heard MacFarlane was the one pushing for the revival.”
—Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

“This new version of Cosmos, which MacFarlane produced, is as earnest as Family GuyAmerican Dad, et al. are raunchy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining. It’s gorgeous, it’s absorbing, it’s impassioned, it’s awestruck and awe-inspiring.”
—James Poniewozik, Time

“Is Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey any good? Based on the first (and only) episode sent out for review, yeah, it's good and in some ways superior to the original. Those are, of course, the obvious ‘ways,’ represented by quantum leaps in special effects technology that transport Sagan's original vision to places even he could never have dreamed of.”
—Verne Gay, Newsday

“From a cultural perspective, I hope Cosmos will pick up the pace and have the same dazzling and meaningful impact it once did. But unless you’re watching it with a child (which I encourage you to do), old fans of Sagan’s show might find the first episode too remedial.”
—Hank Stuever, Washington Post