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Bill Nye And Brannon Braga Tease Natural Disasters In The End Is Nye - Exclusive Interview

For those interested in science or science fiction, seeing the names Bill Nye and Brannon Braga on a television program invites near-universal excitement. For some viewers, "Bill Nye the Science Guy" served as their first foray into understanding the mechanics of the world around them. For many others, Braga's influence via programs like "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek: Voyager" proved a guiding light toward the limitless possibilities of the sciences. 

In the decades since their respective careers in media began, neither has shied away from embracing the important role that science can play in creating enjoyable entertainment. Nye has appeared in a variety of science-focused programs, recently including Netflix's "Bill Nye Saves the World." Similarly, Braga has expanded his career by working behind the scenes on a plethora of Fox series, including everything from "Terra Nova" to "The Orville" and the critically-acclaimed PBS miniseries "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey."

Whether you grew up watching Nye in your eighth-grade chemistry class or caught one of Braga's many TV series, general audiences surely know that Nye and Braga both share an emphatic love for the sciences. For this reason, fans were likely excited in March 2021 when Peacock first announced plans for "The End Is Nye," the duo's upcoming streaming series that focuses on natural disasters (via Deadline).

In July, Nye and Braga traveled to San Diego Comic-Con to reveal the first trailer for the show, and Xoop was on the scene to talk with the two about the project. During an exclusive interview, we talked about how the target audience for the new series differs from Nye's previous work. We also learned about Nye's favorite disaster movie and his first reaction to hearing the legendary "Bill Nye the Science Guy" theme song.

The End Is Nye is a show for everyone

Brannon, you're someone who's done a lot of science fiction work. What do you see as the target audience for a show like this?

Brannon Braga: Everybody. We're all in this together, whether you're five years old or 95 years old. The interests of the show are in the larger humanitarian interests, so it's really a show for everybody. It may not be a show for everybody in that it's pretty scary in the first 30 minutes. There are disasters depicted that are fairly harrowing, but the second half is designed to bring optimism in a sense of how we can figure it out.

Bill, you've obviously done many different shows focused on science and educating people and informing them about it. How does this target audience compare to some of your prior shows?

Bill Nye: This is [for] general audiences. By that, I mean "The Science Guy" show was made for people 10 years old and younger, because we had very compelling research back in the 20th century that 10 years old is about as old as you can be to get this so-called lifelong passion for science, or passion for anything. ["The End Is Nye"] is for general audiences, people that watch television of all ages. But it is a disaster, everybody. I don't want to shock you. Stuff goes wrong.

Can you tease some of the natural disasters that we're going to see in this first season?

Braga: There are so many. We have multiple hurricanes happening all at once, including a category six. We have the super volcano going off in Montana. We've got comets — a string of pearl comets, meaning multiple comet impacts. What else do we have? Oh, solar flare causing a global blackout. That's just to name a few.

Nye: We have a comet impact. We have a giant earthquake. We have a volcano. We have severe drought. We got all that.

Are we touching on any pandemic-related things, or are we avoiding that?

Nye: Pandemic will probably be Season 2 — because we're in a pandemic, so we didn't do that one yet.

Braga: Yeah, and one of our signature moments is Bill Nye gets killed in every episode in some fashion. [Joking] That was the only fun part of the show for me.

Nye and Braga emphasize that science is always key

Brannon, what do you see as the message of this series?

Braga: With so much dystopian science fiction out there, we wanted to build human self-esteem and show that we can solve big problems using science and our ingenuity in our humanity. That's our message.

Bill, your last show was called "Bill Nye Saves the World," and now we're at "The End Is Nye." That doesn't sound nearly as optimistic. What happened? What's going on now?

Nye: We are living in anxious times. Everybody's worried about stuff. Apparently, you can show that when things are great, when things are going well, people watch romantic comedies. They watch comedy movies. But when things are anxious, people watch disaster movies. It's some human nature thing.

We made six disaster movies. In the first half, it's a disaster. In the second half, we show how everything could be great with the optimistic view of the future and science.

Bill, I have to ask you — ever since I first heard the "Bill Nye the Science Guy" theme song, any time I hear your name, the song gets stuck in my head. When you first heard the song, did you think it would catch on like it did?

Nye: It's a great song. Mike Greene is a producer in LA. He did a great job with it ... At first, I was nervous with the lip-syncing, but the guys and gal I work with — my producers, Jim [McKenna] and Erren [Gottlieb] — go, "No, it's genius." It's really caught on. The song is really good on that show.

Do we have a theme song for this show? 

Nye: Oh, yeah. You'll hear it [when the show comes out].

Do you have a favorite natural disaster movie?

Nye: I've always admired "Towering Inferno," but "Contagion" is pretty creepy. Don't make me pick.

All episodes of "The End Is Nye" are now available to stream on Peacock.

This interview has been edited for clarity.