‘Cosmos’ is back for new generation

LOS ANGELES – Astronomer Carl Sagan become Mr. Science for a generation after his 1980 series, “Cosmos,” took audiences on a groundbreaking TV journey through the universe.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” the 21st-century edition debuting Sunday, has a head start with a Twitter following of 1.7 million that’s just edged by the starry likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Cee Lo Green.

Tyson, a go-to expert for news reports on science developments, said his public profile frees him from comparisons to Sagan. The educator and author with a gift for conveying the wonder of discovery died in 1996 at age 62. Sagan was the presenter for the first series, Tyson said, and he’s the presenter for the second. He gamely accepts an analogy to the string of actors who have starred in the “Doctor Who” title role. Each contributes something different, but “you’re still with the franchise at the end of the day,” he said.