Bill Nye the Science Guy

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This article is about educational television program. For the American science educator, see Bill Nye.
Bill Nye the Science Guy
Bill Nye the Science Guy.jpg
Format Children's television series
Education
Comedy
Created by Bill Nye
James McKenna
Erren Gottlieb
Presented by Bill Nye
Starring Suzanne Mikawa
Ivyann Schwan
Jaffar Smith
et al.
Narrated by Pat Cashman
Theme music composer Mike Greene
Composer(s) Mike Greene
Tom McGurk
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 100 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Elizabeth Brock
Erren Gottlieb
James McKenna
Producer(s) Bill Nye
Running time 26 minutes
Production company(s) KCTS Seattle
Rabbit Ears Productions
Walt Disney Television
Broadcast
Original channel PBS
Audio format Dolby Surround
Original run September 10, 1993 (1993-09-10) – June 20, 1998 (1998-06-20)

Bill Nye the Science Guy is a live action educational television program that originally aired from September 10, 1993 to June 20, 1998 and was hosted by William "Bill" Nye. The show aired on PBS Kids and was also syndicated to local stations.

Each of the 100 half-hour episodes aims to teach a specific topic in a natural science to a preteen audience. The show is frequently used in schools as an education medium, and it still airs on some PBS stations for this reason.

Synopsis[edit]

Bill's TV persona is a tall and slender scientist wearing a blue lab coat and a bow-tie.[1] He mixes the serious science of everyday things with fast-paced action and humor. Each half-hour show begins with Bill walking onto the set, called "Nye Laboratories", which is filled with scientific visuals including many "of science" contraptions announced dramatically, relevant to the topic of the show. Most half-hour episodes contain a mock song parody and music video in the "Soundtrack of Science" by "Not That Bad Records", substituting a scientific roundup of the episode for the lyrics to a popular song. Each half-hour show ends with Bill explaining in a clever description of an activity on topic. The credits sometimes rolled next to a series of outtakes from the episode.

Soundtrack[edit]

The show's memorable bass-heavy theme song is set to a house beat with Bill's name shouted throughout the duration of the song. The sound and speed fluctuations of the voice were accomplished through a vocoder and electronic pitch fluctuation.

The show's episodes consisted of several compositions from Associated Production Music. Some featured tracks include:

  • "Acts of Heroism (C)"
  • "Blood in the Gutter" by Laurie Johnson
  • "Dramatic Impact #3" by Ivor Slaney
  • "The Gunfighter" by Ennio Morricone
  • "Hit and Run" by Ralph Dollimore
  • "Killer Birds" by Gregor Narholz
  • "Saw Theme"
  • "Spindlelegs" by King Palmer
  • "Graveyard"

Many of these tracks were also featured in SpongeBob SquarePants, Camp Lazlo, All That, KaBlam! and The Ren and Stimpy Show. Another common track used was the theme from the English show Dave Allen At Large, here used as the theme from "The Jackie Smazz Show."

Production[edit]

Created by comedian Ross Shafer and based on sketches on KING-TV's sketch program Almost Live!, the show was produced by Disney Educational Productions and KCTS-TV of Seattle.[2]

The announcer was Pat Cashman, whom Nye knew from his time on Almost Live!. The theme song is credited to Mike Greene.

Before this show, Bill had previously worked alongside Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future: The Animated Series, where he played Doc Brown's assistant and demonstrated several experiments.[3]

In 1996, Bill made a guest appearance on Cartoon Network's talk-show Space Ghost Coast to Coast in its twenty-fourth episode, Boo! with Michael Norman.[4] In 1997, he made an appearance on PBS Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.[5]

In November 2013, Bill appeared as himself on episode 142 of The Big Bang Theory, "The Proton Displacement", along with Bob Newhart playing the role of an older former children's TV science presenter.[6]

The show has been likened to the next generation version of Watch Mr. Wizard.[7][8] The show ran about the same time as and covered similar topics to Beakman's World, in fact sharing one crew member, editor/writer/director Michael Gross.[9]

Episodes[edit]

100 half-hour episodes were produced.

Season 1[edit]

No. Title "Soundtrack of Science" Parody song Airdate
1 Flight (series premiere) Nyevana – "Smells Like Air Pressure"

Parody of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana

September 10, 1993
2 Earth's Crust Magmadonna – "Crust"

Parody of "Vogue" by Madonna

September 17, 1993
3 Dinosaurs J.C. – "Mr. Dino"

Parody of "Mr. Wendal" by Arrested Development

September 24, 1993
4 Skin No music video October 1, 1993
5 Buoyancy Sure Floats-a lot – "Bill's Got Boat"

Parody of "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot

October 8, 1993
6 Gravity Attraction Action – "G-R-A-V-I-T-Y"

Parody of "Twilight Zone" by 2 Unlimited

October 15, 1993
7 Digestion Dy Gestion – "Can't Eat This"

Parody of "Can't Truss It" by Public Enemy

October 22, 1993
8 Phases of Matter Phaze Change – "Solid Liquid Gas"

Parody of "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" by Digable Planets

October 29, 1993
9 Biodiversity Bio Di Versity – "We're all Connected"

Parody of "Connected" by Stereo MC's

November 5, 1993
10 Simple Machines The Pulley Ramp Five – "ABC's of Machinery"

Parody of "ABC" by The Jackson 5

November 12, 1993
11 The Moon The Lunatics – "Moon Cycle"

Parody of "Bicycle Race" by Queen

November 19, 1993
12 Sound Gloria Wavelength and the Vibrations – "Sound is a VIBE"

Parody of "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor

November 26, 1993
13 Garbage Trash E. Trash – "R.E.C.Y.C.L.E."

Parody of "Respect" by Aretha Franklin; artist name is a parody of Doug E. Fresh

December 3, 1993
14 Structure Stress N' Tension – "Let's Talk About Stress"

Parody of "Let's Talk About Sex" by Salt-n-Pepa

December 10, 1993
15 Seasons A Tilted Development – "Rhyme and Season"; artist name is a parody of Arrested Development

(Note: Ross Shafer guest stars in this episode on The Tilted Planet Game segment.)

December 17, 1993
16 Light & Color The Bent Wavelengths – "Light and Colour"

Parody of "Sweating Bullets" by Megadeth

December 24, 1993
17 Cells Mighty Chondria – "Cellular Haze"

Parody of "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix

January 21, 1994
18 Electricity Billy Ray Cyrcuits – "AC/DC Charge"

Parody of "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus

January 28, 1994
19 Outer Space Elve Centuri – "Celestial Hotel"

Parody of "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley

February 4, 1994
20 Eyeball The Eye Doctors – "Two Eyes"

Parody of "Two Princes" by The Spin Doctors

February 11, 1994

Season 2[edit]

No. Title "Soundtrack of Science" Parody song Airdate
1 Magnetism N.S. Cool J. – "Opposites Attract"

Parody of "Jump" by Kriss Kross; artist name is a parody of LL Cool J

February 18, 1994
2 Wind Wind Dee – "Wind Is In Your Hair"

Parody of "Groove Is in the Heart" by Deee-Lite

February 25, 1994
3 Blood and Circulation AB+ – "Blood Stream"

Parody of "Love Shack" by The B-52's

March 4, 1994
4 Chemical Reactions Chemical Reactions – "Don't Try This at Home"

Parody of "State of Attraction" by Paula Abdul

March 11, 1994
5 Static Electricity The Sticky Socks – "Static Electricity"

Parody of "Turning Japanese" by The Vapors

March 18, 1994
6 Food Web Food Webby Web – "(It's The) Food Web"

Parody of "Who Am I (What's My Name)?" by Snoop Dogg

March 25, 1994
7 Light Optics Queen Lighteefa – "B.E.N.T."

Parody of "U.N.I.T.Y." by Queen Latifah

September 10, 1994
8 Bones and Muscles Steppenbone – "Bones in my Body"

Parody of "Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf

September 17, 1994
9 Oceanography Gulfstream Girls – "Deep Ocean Currents"

Parody of "California Girls" by The Beach Boys

September 24, 1994
10 Heat LeHot – "LeHeat"

Parody of "Le Freak" by Chic

October 1, 1994
11 Insects UB Buggy – "Jah Mon, Insects Rule"

Style Parody of UB40

October 8, 1994
12 Balance Torquer – "Balance This"

Parody of "Get Off This" by Cracker

October 15, 1994
13 The Sun Deep Yellow – "My Favorite Star"

Parody of "Highway Star" by Deep Purple

October 22, 1994
14 Brain En Lobe – "Whatta Brain"

Parody of "Whatta Man" by En Vogue with Salt-n-Pepa

October 29, 1994
15 Forests John Cougar Loggincamp – "Second Growth"

Style Parody of John Mellencamp

November 5, 1994
16 Communication Mary Chapin Communicator – "How Can We Communicate"

Parody of "He Thinks He'll Keep Her" by Mary Chapin Carpenter

November 12, 1994
17 Momentum Momentisey – "The Faster You Push Me"

Parody of "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" by Morrissey

November 19, 1994
18 Reptiles No music video – the commercial-free PBS version of the episode, however, had a brief spoof entitled "Cold Blooded".

Parody of "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner

November 26, 1994
19 Atmosphere Warm -n- Wetta – "Fresh Aire"; artist name is a parody of Salt N Pepa December 2, 1994
20 Respiration Ali Veoli – "What A Pair"

Style Parody of Tatyana Ali

January 7, 1995

Season 3[edit]

No. Title "Soundtrack of Science" Parody song Airdate
1 The Planets No music video January 14, 1995
2 Pressure PSI Garden – "Pressure"

Parody of "Spoonman" by Soundgarden

January 21, 1995
3 Plants Rhoda Dendron – "Cross Pollination"

Parody of "Human Behaviour" by Björk

January 28, 1995
4 Rocks and Soil Sedimentary Fools – "Rocks Rock Harder"

Parody of "Basket Case" by Green Day

February 3, 1995
5 Energy The ERG's – "N-R-G"

Sabotage Parody of the Beastie Boys

February 10, 1995
6 Evolution Evolver – "Survival"

Style parody Revolution. By the Beatles

February 17, 1995
7 Water Cycle J.A.C. – "Water Cycle Jump"

Parody of "Jump" by Kris Kross

March 24, 1995
8 Friction Grace Slip – "Friction Happens"; artist name is a parody of Grace Slick March 31, 1995
9 Germs Dose of Soap – "Just Wash Your Hands"

Parody of "Don't Turn Around" by Ace of Base

April 7, 1995
10 Climates Climate Report – "Whether the Weather"

Parody of "Lucas With The Lid Off" by Lucas Secon

April 14, 1995
11 Waves Big Amplitude – "Baby I Love Your Wave"

Parody of "Baby, I Love Your Way" by Big Mountain (originally by Peter Frampton)

April 21, 1995
12 Ocean Life James Baleen – "Power To The Plankton"

Style Parody of James Brown

April 28, 1995
13 Mammals Fake Fur – "Jennifer's A Mammal"

Parody of "Institutionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies

September 8, 1995
14 Spinning Things House of Spin – "Spin Around"

Parody of "Jump Around" by House of Pain

September 15, 1995
15 Fish Salmon Dave – "I'm a Sole Man"

Parody of "Soul Man" by Sam & Dave

September 22, 1995
16 Human Transportation Carpoolio – "Move Groove"

Parody of "Fantastic Voyage" by Coolio

September 29, 1995
17 Wetlands Maria and the Mudflats – "Where The Land is Wet" October 6, 1995
18 Birds LL Bloo J. – "Talkin' Bout Birds"; artist name is a parody of LL Cool J October 13, 1995
19 Populations Shirell Crow – "All We Need To Do"

Parody of "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow

October 20, 1995
20 Animal Locomotion Bjorn Turun – "Loco Motion"

Parody of "Everything Zen" by Bush

October 27, 1995

Season 4[edit]

No. Title "Soundtrack of Science" Parody song Airdate
1 Rivers and Streams Talking Headwaters – "Take Me To The River"

Parody of "Take Me to the River" by Talking Heads

November 3, 1995
2 Nutrition Knute Trishan – "Good Food"

Style Parody of Nine Inch Nails/Trent Reznor

November 10, 1995
3 Marine Mammals Marina Cesealia – "Breathe Like Me"

Parody of "I Know" by Dionne Farris

November 17, 1995
4 Earthquakes Mistah Richter – "Earthquake Rumble" November 24, 1995
5 NTV Top 11 Video Countdown Mudhoney – "Bill Nye The Science Guy Theme" December 1, 1995
6 Spiders Foo Spighters – "This is A Spiders Life"

Parody of "This Is a Call" by Foo Fighters

January 5, 1996
7 Pollution Solutions No music video January 12, 1996
8 Probability Steven Odd – "50 Fifty"

Parody of "Loser" by Beck

January 19, 1996
9 Pseudoscience Dare L. Pseudo – "Pure Proof"

Parody of "100% Pure Love" by Crystal Waters

January 26, 1996
10 Flowers Daisy Birdsenbees – "So Many Flowers" February 2, 1996
11 Archaeology Mob Barley – "Diggin'"

Parody of "Jamming" by Bob Marley

February 9, 1996
12 Deserts Deserette – "Always Dry"

Parody of "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette

February 16, 1996
13 Amphibians P-Swamp All Stars with DJ Hoppy – "The Amphidelic Mothership Metamorphisis"

Style Parody of George Clinton the P-Funk All Stars

February 23, 1996
14 Volcanoes Volcanque – "Lavaflows"

Parody of "Waterfalls" by TLC

January 31, 1997
15 Invertebrates S. Khar Go – "Crawl Away"

Parody of "Runaway" by Janet Jackson

February 7, 1997
16 Heart Vinny Vein and the Pumpers – "Gimme Back My Heart" February 14, 1997
17 Inventions En Vent and the Process – "It's An 'ing Thing" February 21, 1997
18 Computers La Binary – "One Zero 001"

Parody of "Be My Lover" by La Bouche

April 25, 1997
19 Fossils Etchton Stone – "Fossil Man"

Parody of "Rocket Man" by Elton John

September 5, 1997
20 Time The Tim E. Zone Experience – "Time Time Time Time Time..."

Parody of "Time Has Come Today" by The Chambers Brothers

September 12, 1997

Season 5[edit]

No. Title "Soundtrack of Science" Parody song Airdate
1 Forensics Krime Seen – "We Will Find You"

Parody of "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions" by Queen

September 19, 1997
2 Space Exploration The Space Princess of Galactic Grooviness – "Planets All"

Parody of "Set You Free" by Planet Soul

September 26, 1997
3 Genes Alice in Genes – "It's Called Genetics"

Parody of "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine'; artist name is a parody of Alice In Chains

October 17, 1997
4 Architecture The Artist Formerly Known as Archie T. – "Makin' Plans"

Parody of "All Mixed Up" by 311; artist name is a parody of The Artist Formerly Known As Prince

October 24, 1997
5 Farming Chris Ballew – "Farm Food"

Parody of "Peaches" by The Presidents of the United States of America, of which Ballew himself is a member

October 31, 1997
6 Life Cycles Roberta Fungi – "Everything Has A Life Cycle"

Parody of "Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack

November 14, 1997
7 Do-It-Yourself Science Nye & The Family Crust – "Do It Yourself Science"

Parody of " @#!*% " by Squirrel Nut Zippers; artist name is a parody of Sly and the Family Stone

November 21, 1997
8 Atoms Third Nye Blind – "Atoms in My Life"

Parody of "Semi Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind

November 28, 1997
9 Ocean Exploration The Posies – "Voyage of the Aquanauts"; The Posies are an alternative rock group from Bellingham, Washington. December 5, 1997
10 Lakes and Ponds The Foggy Boyz – "Fond of Lakes and Ponds"

Parody of "Tha Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

February 21, 1998
11 Smell Turbinator Two – "Come On Use Your Brain (Smell This)"

Parody of "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)" by Quad City DJ's; artist name is a parody of Terminator 2: Judgment Day

February 28, 1998
12 Caves Batilda & Guano – "Cave Thing"

Parody of "Shake Your Groove Thing" by Peaches & Herb

April 25, 1998
13 Fluids Weflo – "Drip it"

Parody of "Whip It" by Devo

May 2, 1998
14 Erosion Earth, Wind & Ice – "Causing the Erosion"

Style Parody of No Doubt; artist name is a parody of Earth, Wind & Fire

May 9, 1998
15 Comets and Meteors Halley Comet – "Got Me Looking"

Parody of "Shadowboxer" by Fiona Apple

May 16, 1998
16 Storms Mighty Might Thundertones – "Stormin'"

Style Parody of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

May 23, 1998
17 Measurement The Meter Men – "Every Measurement You Make"

Parody of "Every Breath You Take" by The Police

May 30, 1998
18 Patterns Downward Spiral – "Patterns of Joy"

Parody of "Breathe" by The Prodigy; artist name reference to Nine Inch Nails.

June 6, 1998
19 Music "There's Science In Music"

Melodic Style Similar To That Of "The Time Warp" by Richard O'Brien

June 13, 1998
20 Motion (series finale) Slow Moe – "All in Motion"

Parody of "Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen

June 20, 1998

"Lost Episodes"[edit]

Airdate
1 Bill Nye The Science Guy Lost Episode June 27, 1998
2 Bill Nye The Science Guy Lost Episode (Part 2) July 4, 1998
3 Engines July 11, 1998
4 Floating July 18, 1998
5 Floating (Part 2) July 25, 1998

Awards[edit]

Bill Nye the Science Guy was nominated for twenty-three Emmy Awards and won nineteen during its run.[10]

Daytime Emmy Awards

  • 1996Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series – Erren Gottlieb, Bill Nye, James McKenna, Scott Schaefer, Adam Gross and Seth Gross
  • 1996Outstanding Sound Editing – Michael McAuliffe, Sony Felberg, Vince Werner, Dave Howe, Ella Brackett, Thomas McGurk and Jim Wilson
  • 1997Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series – Kit Boss,Erren Gottlieb, Michael Gross, James McKenna, Bill Nye, Ian G. Saunders, Scott Schaefer and Darrell Suto
  • 1997Outstanding Directing in a Children's Series – Darrell Suto, Michael Gross, Erren Gottlieb and James McKenna
  • 1997Outstanding Single Camera Editing – Darrell Suto, Michael Gross, Felicity Oram and John Reul
  • 1997Outstanding Sound Editing – Thomas McGurk, Michael McAuliffe, Sony Felberg, Vince Werner, and Dave Howe
  • 1998Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series – Erren Gottlieb, James McKenna, Bill Nye, Michael Gross, Darrell Suto, Scott Schaefer, Kit Boss, Lynn Brunelle, Michael Palleschi, Ian G. Saunders and Simon Griffith (Tied with Sesame Street)
  • 1998Outstanding Performer in a Children's SeriesBill Nye
  • 1998Outstanding Single Camera Editing – Darrell Suto, Michael Gross, Felicity Oram and John Reul
  • 1998Outstanding Sound Editing – Dave Howe, Thomas McGurk and Michael McAuliffe
  • 1998Outstanding Sound Mixing – Dave Howe, Thomas McGurk, Michael McAuliffe, Bob O'Hern, Resti Bagcal and Marion Smith
  • 1999Outstanding Children's Series – Erren Gottlieb, James McKenna, Elizabeth Brock, Jamie Hammond, Hamilton McCulloch and Bill Nye
  • 1999Outstanding Directing in a Children's SeriesMichael Gross and Darrell Suto
  • 1999Outstanding Single Camera Editing – Felicity Oram, John Reul, Michael Gross and Darrell Suto
  • 1999Outstanding Sound Editing – Dave Howe, Thomas McGurk and Michael McAuliffe
  • 2000Outstanding Writing in a Children's SeriesBill Nye, Michael Gross, Darrell Suto, Ian G. Saunders, Michael Palleschi, Lynn Brunelle and Mike Greene
  • 2000Outstanding Children's Series – James McKenna, Erren Gottlieb, Elizabeth Brock, Jamie Hammond and Bill Nye
  • 2000Outstanding Sound Editing – Dave Howe, Michael McAuliffe and Thomas McGurk
  • 2000Outstanding Sound Mixing – Dave Howe, Michael McAuliffe, Thomas McGurk, Myron Partman and Resti Bagcal (Tied with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show and Bear in the Big Blue House)

Home media[edit]

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the series in its entirety on DVD, as part of the series' 20th anniversary.[11] In the United Kingdom, it was distributed on VHS by ViewTech, Bristol.

Video game[edit]

A computer game for the series, titled Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock!, was released in 1996 for Windows and Macintosh by Pacific Interactive.[12]

In the game, a large meteoroid called "Impending Dumé" threatens to make a catastrophic collision with the Earth. A team of scientists develop a laser satellite-controlling computer system called MAAX (Meteoroid and Asteroid Exploder) to destroy the meteoroid; however, MAAX develops a personality of its own (in an obvious parody of the sentient computer HAL from the film and novel 2001: A Space Odyssey) and refuses to save the planet unless Earth's scientists can solve seven science riddles. Nye Labs decides to take on MAAX's challenge, and the player, depicted as the newest member of the Nye Labs team, is asked to solve these riddles using Nye Labs' equipment before Impending Dumé hits (represented through an in-game timer). The game featured a fully explorable Nye Labs, as well as video cut scenes featuring Bill and other Nye Labs scientists. However, the characters and cast members from the TV series, sans Bill and a few others, do not appear in this game, instead being replaced by game-exclusive Nye Labs team members and new actors.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Boss, Kit (18 December 1994). "The Bill Nye Effect". The Seattle Times. 
  2. ^ "Bill Nye, The Science Guy | Archive of American Television". Emmytvlegends.org. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101042
  4. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0706035
  5. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0649744
  6. ^ Getlen, Larry (2013-11-02). "Bob Newhart returns to ‘Big Bang Theory’ with Bill Nye | New York Post". Nypost.com. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  7. ^ Heppner, Frank (2007). Teaching the Large College Class: A Guidebook for Instructors with Multitudes. John Wiley & Sons. p. 11. ISBN 9780470180846. 
  8. ^ Kundanis, Rose M. (2003). Children, Teens, Families, and Mass Media: The Millennial Generation. Taylor & Francis. p. 37. ISBN 9780805845631. 
  9. ^ "Michael Gross (III)". IMDb. 
  10. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0173528/awards
  11. ^ Disney Educational Productions
  12. ^ "VideoGame/Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock! - Television Tropes & Idioms". Tvtropes.org. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  13. ^ Luvan, Dylan (September 24, 2012). "Bill Nye Warns: Creation Views Threaten U.S. Science". Associated Press. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  14. ^ Fowler, Jonathan; Rodd, Elizabeth (August 23, 2012). "Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children". YouTube. Retrieved September 24, 2012.