- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Nye ‘Eyes’ returns

Bill Nye is known to many TV viewers as the not-so-mad scientist behind “Bill Nye, the Science Guy.” Nevertheless, the bow-tie aficionado still sees himself as an educator.

“You do what you have to do to get what you are saying across, and if that means being funny, that’s what I do,” the District native told Associated Press during a recent two-week stay as an instructor at Cornell University, his alma mater.

“There are major issues that people as taxpayers and voters will have to make informed decisions on in the near future,” Mr. Nye said. “They will need to understand the science and the ethical considerations to form their opinions. Some of these are issues that will affect humanity for decades to come.”

Given that, the time seemed right for his return. So he’s back, with “The Eyes of Nye,” a new TV show designed to help people understand and appreciate how the world works.

Unlike “Bill Nye, the Science Guy,” which won 28 Emmys during its PBS run from 1992 to 1998, “Eyes” isn’t solely for youngsters. The new show tackles such subjects as cloning, overpopulation, genetically modified foods, nuclear waste, global climate change, stem-cell research and drug-resistant disease.

“This is a different pace for a different audience,” Mr. Nye, 49, told AP. “There is a lot more discussion. ‘The Science Guy’ was for younger viewers, viewers who grew up playing colorful video games at top speed, so with ‘The Science Guy’ we put action before content.”

Cindy Workowsky, a spokeswoman for the National Science Teachers Association, a national organization with 55,000 members, said Mr. Nye’s appeal bridges generations.

“He has a cult following among science teachers,” Miss Workowsky told AP.

The new series has been picked up by 213 stations, covering about 72 percent of the country — but to date, it has not found a home in the Washington market.

Whole lotta shakin’

The team behind “10.5” has reassembled to disassemble the North American continent once again.

Filming on “10.5: Apocalypse,” the sequel to NBC’s successful 2004 disaster miniseries, began last week in Montreal, with Kim Delaney, Beau Bridges and David Cubitt reprising their roles and the same behind-the-camera team in place as well, the entertainment Web site Zap2it.com reports.

There’s no official word on an airdate, but given the start date, “Apocalypse” could possibly be ready to go by the all-important November sweeps, one of three months each year when networks roll out an avalanche of special programs.

“We are shooting this sequel on digital, which is allowing us to achieve a whole new level of visual effects and style that have heretofore not been seen on network television,” writer-director John Lafia says. “Also, the actors flocking to the project is very rewarding to me personally and shows their faith in the material.”

Rodriguez gets ‘Lost’

Actress Michelle Rodriguez of “The Fast and the Furious” fame will get “Lost” this fall.

The 26-year-old actress is joining the cast of the ABC hit for its sophomore season, AP reports.

In a flashback on the first season’s finale, Miss Rodriguez played Ana-Lucia Cortez, a passenger on doomed Oceanic flight No. 815 who flirted with Jack Shepard (Matthew Fox) at an airport bar in Sydney, Australia.

Miss Rodriguez first caught the attention of moviegoers as a boxer in 2000’s “Girlfight” and later appeared in the films “S.W.A.T.,” “Resident Evil” and “Blue Crush.”

ABC didn’t specify what role Miss Rodriguez will portray when the show returns, but many “Lost” theorists believe passengers in the back half of the plane, where Cortez said she was sitting, are alive and haven’t been discovered.

New episodes will begin when “Lost” moves into the 9 p.m. slot on Wednesdays this fall.

Costas to sub for King

Venerable sports talker Bob Costas is stepping up to the plate as a substitute host for CNN talker Larry King and will conduct prime-time interviews about 20 times a year, the cable network announced Tuesday.

CNN’s “Larry King Live,” the network’s biggest ratings draw, airs weeknights and routinely features some of the biggest names in politics and entertainment.

Mr. Costas will be one of several substitute hosts for Mr. King, the network said.

Failing grade

“The Scholar,” ABC’s new reality series, got low marks from Nielsen Media Research for its Monday debut, attracting just 4.8 million viewers, TVGuide.com reports.

The show, hosted by Rob Nelson, features 10 brainy high school seniors who are vying for an all-expenses-paid scholarship to a top university — which could be worth as much as $240,000, according to ABC.com.

Compiled by Christian Toto and R. Denise Yourse from staff and wire reports.

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