Bill Nye the Science Guy

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Bill Nye the Science Guy
Bill Nye the Science Guy title screen.jpg
Created byBill Nye
James McKenna
Erren Gottlieb
Presented byBill Sanford Nye
StarringMichaela Leslie-Rule
Chais Dean
Suzanne Mikawa
Ivyann Schwan
Jaffar Smith
Narrated byPat Cashman
Theme music composerMike Greene
Opening theme"Bill Nye the Science Guy"
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes100 + Pilot
Production
Executive producersElizabeth Brock
Erren Gottlieb
James McKenna
ProducerSimon Griffith
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesKCTS Seattle
Rabbit Ears Productions
Buena Vista TV Productions
McKenna/Gottlieb Producers, Inc.
DistributorBuena Vista Television
Release
Original networkPBS (1993–1998)
Syndicated (1993–1998)
Audio formatDolby Surround
Original releaseApril 14, 1993 (1993-04-14) –
February 5, 1998 (1998-02-05)

Bill Nye the Science Guy is an American half-hour live action science education television program created by Bill Nye, James McKenna, and Erren Gottlieb, with Nye starring as a fictionalized version of himself. It was produced by KCTS and McKenna/Gottlieb Producers and distributed by Buena Vista Television with substantial financing from the National Science Foundation.[1] The show aired in syndication from September 10, 1993, to February 5, 1998, over six seasons and 100 episodes; beginning in season 2, a concurrent run was added on PBS from October 10, 1994, to September 3, 1999, with the show's first run remaining in syndication.[2] After the show's first run was completed, Nye continued to portray the Science Guy character for a number of short interstitial segments for the cable television channel Noggin, which aired during rebroadcasts of Bill Nye the Science Guy. A video game based on the series was released in 1996, and a subsequent television show for adults, Bill Nye Saves the World, was broadcast two decades later.

Known for its quirky humor and rapid-fire MTV-style pacing, the show won critical acclaim and was nominated for 23 Emmy Awards, winning nineteen.[3] Studies also found that people that viewed Bill Nye regularly were better able to generate explanations and extensions of scientific ideas than non-viewers.[4]

Format[edit]

Nye portrays a hyper-kinetic tall and slender scientist wearing a blue lab coat and a bow-tie.[5] He combines the serious science of everyday things with fast-paced action and humor. Each half-hour show begins with a cold open, where Nye introduces the episode's theme, which leads into an opening credit sequence, and featuring Nye in a computer animated scientific world, along with his head spinning, radio frequencies, and plastic toy dinosaurs flying. In later seasons, the theme song was cut short by a static screen. After the opening credits, announcer Pat Cashman says "Brought to you by...", in which a product name is related to the episode's theme. Nye walks onto the set, which is called "Nye Laboratories", filled with scientific visuals including many "of science" contraptions announced dramatically, relevant to the theme of the episode. Science-related TV and movie parodies configure the facts of the episode's theme, along with parodies of TV commercials. The show has featured many guest appearances.[note 1] Each episode features Nye visiting many places relating to the episode's theme, showing interviews of people talking about their work and other contributions. At the end of each episode, Nye thanks the viewers for watching, before explaining in a clever description of a theme's activity. The closing credits roll over bloopers from the episode.

Segments[edit]

  • Way Cool Scientist: An expert discusses the fact of the episode's theme.
  • Consider the Following: Nye discusses a certain aspect of the episode's theme.
  • Nifty Home Experiment: A viewer demonstrates a simple home experiment.
  • Try This: A viewer presents a simple demonstration.
  • Hey! Look at This: An expert gives a closer look into the episode's theme.
  • Check it Out: A viewer affects their environmental issues.
  • Clever Science Trick: A viewer demonstrates a simple science trick.
  • The Jackie Smazz Show: Pat Cashman performs an act as a talk show-style host named Jackie Smazz.
  • Great Moments in Science: Cashman narrates a historical event in science.
  • Great Moments in Communication: Cashman narrates a historical event in communication.
  • Pet Rock Theater: Animated pet rocks perform an act.
  • Better Eating Through Kitchen Chemistry: Bill Nye portrays Vivian Cupcake demonstrating scientific recipes.
  • Richie, Eat Your Crust: Nye and the Family Crust perform an act themed around telling the title boy to "eat your crust".
  • Did You Know That...: An interesting factoid is presented.
  • Luna Van Dyke, Private Eye: Private eye Luna Van Dyke focuses on a story.
  • Mind Your Manners with Billy Quan A martial arts-themed episode parody.
  • Soundtrack of Science: A science-themed song parody.

History[edit]

Origins and creation[edit]

Bill Nye was originally an engineer for the 747 airliner at Boeing, having moved to Seattle in 1977 after he was accepted for the position.[6] Nye began to perform stand-up comedy in his spare time after he entered and won a Steve Martin lookalike contest at a comedy club, which led to him meeting fellow comedians Ross Shafer and John Keister.[7] Nye eventually left Boeing in 1985 to join Shafer and Keister in writing and performing for Almost Live!, a then-fledgling sketch comedy television show produced by local NBC affiliate KING-TV.[5] During his tenure on the show, Nye began cultivating a science-explaining TV persona; the first instance of the persona occurred in 1985 when Nye called Shafer on-air to correct his pronunciation of the word "gigawatt", to which Shafer retorted, "Who do you think you are – Bill Nye the Science Guy?"[5][8][9] As a result, Nye was subsequently asked to give scientific answers to the show's call-in questions.[9] His persona's first on-air appearance, as it is contemporarily known, occurred on January 10, 1987, by circumstance when the primary guest for that night's performance of Almost Live! called in to cancel their appearance; with no backup guest planned to fill the resulting empty time, the show's writers elected to have Nye demonstrate the household uses of liquid nitrogen.[7][10] During the demonstration, Nye submerged an onion in liquid nitrogen and proceeded to shatter it, receiving acclaim from the studio audience.[5]

As Nye produced more demonstrations for Almost Live!, he began to develop the idea of a show featuring his "Science Guy" persona; KING-TV declined his proposal, though he eventually received assistance from station alumni James McKenna and Erren Gottlieb.[5] Together, the group pitched the show as Watch Mr. Wizard meets Pee-wee's Playhouse, though the latter part was later replaced with MTV after the arrest of actor Paul Reubens for indecent exposure in 1991.[5][11] Their pitch lasted for four years, being declined by Fox and other networks over various concerns, until they convinced Elizabeth Brock of local PBS member station KCTS-TV to take a chance on the idea.[5][12] KCTS-TV commissioned a pilot for Bill Nye the Science Guy, which aired on April 14, 1993, on the station itself before airing on PBS stations nationwide for the rest of the month.[6][5] Nye successfully obtained underwriting from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.[6] Nye's program became part of a package of syndicated series that local stations could schedule to fulfill Children's Television Act requirements;[13] because of this, Bill Nye the Science Guy became the first program to run concurrently on both public and commercial stations.[13]

Production[edit]

The show was created in 1992 by Bill Nye, James McKenna and Erren Gottlieb, produced by McKenna/Gottlieb Producers, Inc, in partnership with KCTS in Seattle. The following year, the production companies entered a distribution agreement with Buena Vista Television, a subsidiary of Disney.[1] As part of the agreement, the profits of the show were split between Disney and the production team, with Disney owning full distribution rights across broadcasting, home video, and digital streaming. McKenna and Gottlieb all met while McKenna was a producer on Almost Live!, a Seattle-based comedy show.[14]

The announcer for the program was Pat Cashman, whom Nye knew from his time on Almost Live!.

Before his show launched, Nye 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.

The show has been likened to the next-generation version of Watch Mr. Wizard.[15][16] 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.

The show was primarily funded by the National Science Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the annual financial support from the viewers/stations of the PBS network. Other funding sponsors included Ore Ida, The Boeing Company (which Nye worked for until 1986, Boeing was also based in Seattle until 2001 when it relocated its corporate headquarters to Chicago, Illinois), and Intel.

The show started with an initial 26-episode order for the 1993–1994 Season.[17] After its initial success, it was renewed for a second 26-episode order for the 1994–1995 Season, followed by 13 for the 1995–1996 Season.[18] Lastly, it was renewed for two more years, bringing the final episode total to 100.[19]

Despite Disney's association and ownership with the show, it has never aired on any network owned by Walt Disney Television in the US (such as Disney Channel and the American Broadcasting Company, known as simply ABC, which Disney did not acquire until 1996, three years after the show premiered.)

Theme song[edit]

The Bill Nye the Science Guy theme song was written by songwriter (and former math teacher) Mike Greene.[20] It was inspired by Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo, when composing the theme, and used his voice for singing the "Bill Nye the Science Guy" refrain. It consisted of Pat Cashman saying the show's title in a distorted male voice, and the word "Bill" is repeated throughout as a percussive shout. An electric guitar was used during the theme song, followed by Bill saying "Science rules!", "Inertia is a property of matter", and "T-minus seven seconds".

When Greene was enlisted to write the theme song, the show's producers requested that the song "not sound like a kid's show"; the final result was accordingly uncommon for the time.[21] "I used my voice for the first demo to send to the producers, Jim and Erren," he said. "After they approved it, I hired singers because I wanted to make it better. I hired a guy to sing it who sounded pretty cool. He had like a rock‑and‑roll kind of voice, so it sounded pretty slick. Then as another option, I hired a girl to sing it to give it a bit more R&B kind of sound. Then I sent those versions to Jim and Erren, and they said, 'Why have you got them on it? We want your voice. It’s funnier.' I thought, 'My voice is funnier??? Good thing I’m not touchy about my singing!' So we kept my voice on there."[20]

Set to a house beat, Greene enlisted rappers to repeat the word "Bill!" as a percussive shout, deliberately imitating the shouting featured in House of Pain's 1992 song Jump Around.[21] "I can’t name them, because it was against their contract to do outside things without permission from their record company," Greene noted. "It was kinda funny, because they were in my studio one day to record a song. I was working on the Nye theme as they walked in and I told them, 'Hey, do me a favor and go in the booth and chant 'Bill, Bill, Bill' over and over again.' They had no idea what it was for, but they're cool, so they did. It sounded great, so that's the version we kept. The show didn't air until a year later, so it wasn't until then that they understood what this was really for."[20]

Noggin shorts[edit]

Nye in one of Noggin's original shorts

In September 1999, Bill Nye signed a multi-year deal to develop and star in original programs for Noggin,[22] a cable channel co-owned by Nickelodeon and the Children's Television Workshop. In addition to producing the new content, Noggin acquired all 100 episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy; this made it the first-ever program acquisition by the channel.[23] Noggin and Nye chose not to develop new episodes of the show, and instead created original shorts featuring Nye, in character and costume from Bill Nye the Science Guy. In the shorts, Nye's "Science Guy" persona worked as the "head sparkologist" of Noggin,[24] and he tried to find out what topics sparked viewers' imaginations. Bill Nye told Multichannel News that he was interested in creating multiple original shows for Noggin, including a math-based series and one "showing kids how to exercise good judgment."[23]

Impact[edit]

In conjunction with the production of Bill Nye the Science Guy, KCTS-TV conducted several research studies that evaluated how effective the program was as an educational tool. In one study, it was found that viewers of the program made more observations and sophisticated classifications than non-viewers.[4] In surveys of elementary students who watched the program, most children concluded that Nye made "kids like science more". When surveyed whether Nye was a scientist or actor and comedian, most students asserted he was a scientist, though many said both. Students also described Nye almost equally as both "funny" and "smart", and believed he was a "source of good information."[25]

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

NOTE: The Production Codes were taken from the United States Copyright Office. Airdates were taken from the Newspaper Archives. The Sioux City, Iowa NBC affiliate of KTIV is an example of a station that carried the show in Syndication.

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
PilotApril 14, 1993 (1993-04-14)KCTS-TV
126September 10, 1993 (1993-09-10)March 25, 1994 (1994-03-25)Syndication
226September 9, 1994 (1994-09-09)April 28, 1995 (1995-04-28)Syndication/PBS
313September 8, 1995 (1995-09-08)December 1, 1995 (1995-12-01)
413September 6, 1996 (1996-09-06)April 25, 1997 (1997-04-25)
514September 5, 1997 (1997-09-05)April 24, 1998 (1998-04-24)
68September 4, 1998 (1998-09-04)February 5, 1999 (1999-02-05)

Pilot (1993)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air dateProd.
code
00"Water"April 14, 1993 (1993-04-14)N/A
The original Pilot for the show. The rest of the country got to see this Pilot between April 22 and May 31.[26]

Season 1 (1993–94)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal syndication air dateOriginal PBS air dateProd.
code
11"Flight"September 10, 1993 (1993-09-10)[27]October 10, 1994[28]#BN-01
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Nyevana – "Smells Like Air Pressure" – Parody of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana
22"Earth's Crust"September 17, 1993 (1993-09-17)[29]October 11, 1994#BN-02
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Magmadonna – "Crust" – Parody of "Vogue" by Madonna
33"Skin"September 24, 1993 (1993-09-24)[30]October 13, 1994#BN-04
No music video
44"Dinosaurs"October 1, 1993 (1993-10-01)[31]October 12, 1994#BN-03
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: J.C. – "Mr. Dino" – Parody of "Mr. Wendal" by Arrested Development
55"Buoyancy"October 8, 1993 (1993-10-08)[32]October 14, 1994#BN-05
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Sure Floats-a lot – "Bill's Got Boat" – Parody of "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot
66"Gravity"October 15, 1993 (1993-10-15)[33]October 17, 1994#BN-06
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Attraction Action – "G-R-A-V-I-T-Y" – Parody of "Twilight Zone" by 2 Unlimited
77"Digestion"October 22, 1993 (1993-10-22)[34]October 18, 1994#BN-07
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Dy Gestion – "Can't Eat This" – Parody of "Can't Truss It" by Public Enemy
88"Phases of Matter"October 29, 1993 (1993-10-29)[35]October 19, 1994#BN-08
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Phaze Change – "Solid Liquid Gas" – Parody of "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" by Digable Planets
99"Biodiversity"November 5, 1993 (1993-11-05)[36]October 20, 1994#BN-09
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Bio Di Versity – "We're all Connected" – Parody of "Connected" by Stereo MC's
1010"Simple Machines"November 12, 1993 (1993-11-12)[37]October 21, 1994#BN-10
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: The Pulley Ramp Five – "ABC's of Machinery" – Parody of "ABC" by The Jackson 5
1111"The Moon"November 19, 1993 (1993-11-19)[38]October 24, 1994#BN-11
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: The Lunatics – "Moon Cycle" – Parody of "Bicycle Race" by Queen
1212"Sound"November 26, 1993 (1993-11-26)[39]October 25, 1994#BN-12
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Gloria Wavelength and the Vibrations – "Sound is a VIBE" – Parody of "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor
1313"Garbage"December 3, 1993 (1993-12-03)[40]October 26, 1994#BN-13
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: 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
1414"Structure"December 10, 1993 (1993-12-10)[41]October 27, 1994#BN-14
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Stress N' Tension – "Let's Talk About Stress" – Parody of "Let's Talk About Sex" by Salt-N-Pepa
1515"Earth's Seasons"December 17, 1993 (1993-12-17)October 28, 1994#BN-15
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: A Tilted Development – "Rhyme and Season"; artist name is a parody of Arrested Development
1616"Light & Color"January 14, 1994 (1994-01-14)[42]October 31, 1994#BN-16
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: The Bent Wavelengths – "Light and Colour" – Parody of "Sweating Bullets" by Megadeth
1717"Cells"January 21, 1994 (1994-01-21)[43]November 1, 1994#BN-17
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Mighty Chondria – "Cellular Haze" – Parody of "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix
1818"Electricity"January 28, 1994 (1994-01-28)[44]November 2, 1994#BN-18
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Billy Ray Cyrcuits – "AC/DC Charge" – Parody of "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus
1919"Outer Space"February 4, 1994 (1994-02-04)[45]November 3, 1994#BN-19
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Elvi Centuri – "Celestial Hotel" – Parody of "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley
2020"Eyeball"February 11, 1994 (1994-02-11)[46]November 4, 1994#BN-20
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: The Eye Doctors – "Two Eyes" – Parody of "Two Princes" by The Spin Doctors
2121"Magnetism"February 18, 1994 (1994-02-18)[47]November 7, 1994#BN-21
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: N.S. Kool J. – "Opposites Attract" – Parody of "Jump" by Kriss Kross; artist name is a parody of LL Cool J
2222"Wind"February 25, 1994 (1994-02-25)[48]November 8, 1994#BN-22
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Wind Dee – "Wind Is in Your Hair" – Parody of "Groove Is in the Heart" by Deee-Lite
2323"Blood & Circulation"March 4, 1994 (1994-03-04)[49]November 9, 1994#BN-23
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: AB+ – "Blood Stream" – Parody of "Love Shack" by The B-52's
2424"Chemical Reactions"March 11, 1994 (1994-03-11)[50]November 10, 1994#BN-24
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Chemical Reactions – "Don't Try This at Home" – Parody of "State of Attraction" by Paula Abdul
2525"Static Electricity"March 18, 1994 (1994-03-18)[51]November 11, 1994#BN-25
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: The Sticky Socks – "Static Electricity" – Parody of "Turning Japanese" by The Vapors
2626"Food Web"March 25, 1994 (1994-03-25)[52]November 14, 1994#BN-26
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Food Webby Web – "(It's The) Food Web" – Parody of "Who Am I (What's My Name)?" by Snoop Doggy Dogg

Season 2 (1994–95)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal syndication air dateOriginal PBS air dateProd.
code
271"Light Optics,Bending"September 9, 1994 (1994-09-09)[53]December 5, 1994#BN2-01
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Queen Lighteefa – "B.E.N.T." – Parody of "U.N.I.T.Y." by Queen Latifah
282"Bones & Muscles"September 16, 1994 (1994-09-16)[54]December 6, 1994#BN2-02
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Steppenbone – "Bones in My Body" – Parody of "Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf
293"Oceanography"September 23, 1994 (1994-09-23)[55]December 7, 1994#BN2-03
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Gulfstream Girls – "Deep Ocean Currents" – Parody of "California Girls" by The Beach Boys
304"Heat"September 30, 1994 (1994-09-30)[56]December 8, 1994#BN2-04
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: LeHot – "LeHeat" – Parody of "Le Freak" by Chic
315"Insects"October 7, 1994 (1994-10-07)[57]December 9, 1994#BN2-05
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: UB Buggy – "Jah Mon, Insects Rule" – Style Parody of UB40
326"Balance"October 14, 1994 (1994-10-14)[58]December 12, 1994#BN2-06
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Torquer – "Balance This" – Parody of "Get Off This" by Cracker
337"The Sun"October 21, 1994 (1994-10-21)[59]December 13, 1994#BN2-07
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Deep Yellow – "My Favorite Star" – Parody of "Highway Star" by Deep Purple
348"Brain"October 28, 1994 (1994-10-28)[60]December 14, 1994#BN2-08
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: En Lobe – "Whatta Brain" – Parody of "Whatta Man" by En Vogue with Salt-N-Pepa
359"Forests"November 4, 1994 (1994-11-04)[61]December 15, 1994#BN2-09
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: John Cougar Loggincamp – "Second Growth" – Style Parody of John Mellencamp
3610"Communication"November 11, 1994 (1994-11-11)[62]December 16, 1994#BN2-10
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Mary Chapin Communicator – "How Can We Communicate?" – Parody of "He Thinks He'll Keep Her" by Mary Chapin Carpenter
3711"Momentum"November 18, 1994 (1994-11-18)[63]December 19, 1994#BN2-11
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Momentisey – "The Faster You Push Me" – Parody of "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" by Morrissey
3812"Reptiles"November 25, 1994 (1994-11-25)[64]December 20, 1994#BN2-12
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: 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
3913"Atmosphere"December 2, 1994 (1994-12-02)[65]December 21, 1994#BN2-13
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Warm -n- Wetta – "Fresh Aire"; artist name is a parody of Salt-N-Pepa
4014"Respiration"January 6, 1995 (1995-01-06)[66]TBA#BN2-14
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Ali Veoli – "What A Pair" – Style Parody of Tatyana Ali
4115"Planets & Moons"January 13, 1995 (1995-01-13)[67]TBA#BN2-15
No music video
4216"Pressure"January 20, 1995 (1995-01-20)[68]TBA#BN2-16
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: PSI Garden – "Pressure" – Parody of "Spoonman" by Soundgarden
4317"Plants"January 27, 1995 (1995-01-27)[69]TBA#BN2-17
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Rhoda Dendron – "Cross Pollination" – Parody of "Human Behaviour" by Björk
4418"Rocks & Soil"February 3, 1995 (1995-02-03)[70]TBA#BN2-18
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Sedimentary Fools – "Rocks Rock Harder" – Parody of "Basket Case" by Green Day
4519"Energy"February 10, 1995 (1995-02-10)[71]TBA#BN2-19
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: The ERG's – "N-R-G" – Parody of "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys
4620"Evolution"February 17, 1995 (1995-02-17)[72]TBA#BN2-20
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Evolver – "Survival" Style parody of Seether by Veruca Salt
4721"Water Cycle"March 24, 1995 (1995-03-24)[73]TBA#BN2-21
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: J.A.C. – "Water Cycle Jump" – Parody of "Jump" by Kris Kross
4822"Friction"March 31, 1995 (1995-03-31)[74]TBA#BN2-22
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Grace Slip – "Friction Happ7ens"; artist name is a parody of Grace Slick
4923"Germs"April 7, 1995 (1995-04-07)[75]TBA#BN2-23
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Dose of Soap – "Just Wash Your Hands" – Parody of "Don't Turn Around" by Ace of Base
5024"Climates"April 14, 1995 (1995-04-14)[76]TBA#BN2-24
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Climate Report – "Whether the Weather" – Parody of "Lucas with the Lid Off" by Lucas Secon
5125"Waves"April 21, 1995 (1995-04-21)[77]TBA#BN2-25
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Big Amplitude – "Baby I Love Your Wave" – Parody of "Baby, I Love Your Way" by Big Mountain (originally by Peter Frampton)
5226"Ocean Life"April 28, 1995 (1995-04-28)[78]TBA#BN2-26
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: James Baleen – "Power To The Plankton" Style Parody of James Brown

Season 3 (1995)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal syndication air dateOriginal PBS air dateProd.
code
531"Mammals"September 8, 1995 (1995-09-08)[79]TBA#BN2-27
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Fake Fur – "Jennifer's A Mammal" – Parody of "Institutionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies
542"Spinning Things"September 15, 1995 (1995-09-15)[80]TBA#BN2-28
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: House of Spin – "Spin Around" – Parody of "Jump Around" by House of Pain
553"Fish"September 22, 1995 (1995-09-22)[81]TBA#BN2-29
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Salmon Dave – "I'm a Sole Man" – Parody of "Soul Man" by Sam & Dave
564"Human Transportation"September 29, 1995 (1995-09-29)[82]TBA#BN2-30
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Carpoolio – "Move Groove" – Parody of "Fantastic Voyage" by Coolio
575"Wetlands"October 6, 1995 (1995-10-06)TBA#BN2-31
"Soundtrack of Science" – Parody song: Maria and the Mudflats – "Where the Land is Wet"
586"Birds"October 13, 1995 (1995-10-13)[83]TBA#BN2-32
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: LL Bloo J. – "Talkin' Bout Birds"; artist name is a parody of LL Cool J
597"Populations"October 20, 1995 (1995-10-20)[84]TBA#BN2-33
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Shirell Crow – "All We Need To Do" – Parody of "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow
608"Animal Locomotion"October 27, 1995 (1995-10-27)[85]TBA#BN2-34
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Bjorn Turun – "Loco Motion" – Parody of "Everything Zen" by Bush
619"Earthquakes"November 3, 1995 (1995-11-03)[86]TBA#BN2-38
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Mistah Richter – "Earthquake Rumble" – Parody of "Insane in the Brain" by Cypress Hill
6210"NTV Top 11 Countdown"November 10, 1995 (1995-11-10)TBA#BN2-39
"Soundtrack of Science" – Parody song: Mudhoney – "Bill Nye The Science Guy Theme"
6311"Nutrition"November 17, 1995 (1995-11-17)[87]TBA#BN2-36
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Knute Trishan – "Good Food" Style Parody of Nine Inch Nails/Trent Reznor
6412"Marine Mammals"November 24, 1995 (1995-11-24)[88]TBA#BN2-37
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Marina Cesealia – "Breathe Like Me" – Parody of "I Know" by Dionne Farris
6513"Rivers & Streams"December 1, 1995 (1995-12-01)[89]TBA#BN2-35
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Talking Headwaters – "Take Me to the River" – Parody of "Take Me to the River" by Talking Heads

Season 4 (1996–97)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal syndication air dateOriginal PBS air dateProd.
code
661"Spiders"September 6, 1996 (1996-09-06)[90]TBA#066
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Foo Spighters – "This is A Spiders Life" – Parody of "This Is a Call" by Foo Fighters
672"Pollution Solutions"September 13, 1996 (1996-09-13)[91]TBA#067
No music video
683"Probability"September 20, 1996 (1996-09-20)[92]TBA#068
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Steven Odd – "50 Fifty" – Parody of "Loser" by Beck
694"Pseudoscience"September 27, 1996 (1996-09-27)[93]TBA#069
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Dare L. Pseudo – "Pure Proof" – Parody of "100% Pure Love" by Crystal Waters
705"Flowers"October 25, 1996 (1996-10-25)[94]TBA#070
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Daisy Birdsenbees – "So Many Flowers"
716"Archaeology"November 8, 1996 (1996-11-08)[95]TBA#071
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Mob Barley – "Diggin'" – Parody of "Jamming" by Bob Marley
727"Deserts"November 15, 1996 (1996-11-15)[96]TBA#072
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Deserette – "Always Dry" – Parody of "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette
738"Amphibians"November 22, 1996 (1996-11-22)[97]TBA#073
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: P-Swamp All Stars with DJ Hoppy – "The Amphidelic Mothership Metamorphisis" Style – Parody of George Clinton the P-Funk All Stars
749"Volcanoes"January 31, 1997 (1997-01-31)[98]TBA#074
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Volcanique – "Lavaflows" – Parody of "Waterfalls" by TLC
7510"Invertebrates"February 7, 1997 (1997-02-07)[99]TBA#075
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: S. Khar Go – "Crawl Away" – Parody of "Runaway" by Janet Jackson
7611"Heart"February 14, 1997 (1997-02-14)[100]TBA#076
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Vinny Vein and the Pumpers – "Gimme Back My Heart"
7712"Inventions"February 21, 1997 (1997-02-21)[101]TBA#077
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: En Vent and the Process – "It's An 'ing Thing"
7813"Computers"April 25, 1997 (1997-04-25)[102]TBA#078
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: La Binary – "One Zero 001" – Parody of "Be My Lover" by La Bouche

Season 5 (1997–98)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal syndication air dateOriginal PBS air dateProd.
code
791"Fossils"September 5, 1997 (1997-09-05)[103]TBA#079
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Etchton Stone – "Fossil Man" – Parody of "Rocket Man" by Elton John
802"Space Exploration"September 12, 1997 (1997-09-12)[104]TBA#082
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: The Space Princess of Galactic Grooviness – "Planets All" – Parody of "Set U Free" by Planet Soul
813"Forensics"September 19, 1997 (1997-09-19)[105]TBA#081
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Crime Seen – "We Will Find You" – Parody of "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions" by Queen
824"Time"September 26, 1997 (1997-09-26)[106]TBA#080
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: The Tim E. Zone Experience – "Time Time Time Time Time..." – Parody of "Time Has Come Today" by The Chambers Brothers
835"Genes"October 17, 1997 (1997-10-17)TBA#083
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: 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
846"Architecture"October 24, 1997 (1997-10-24)TBA#084
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: 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
857"Farming"October 31, 1997 (1997-10-31)TBA#085
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Chris Ballew – "Farm Food" – Parody of "Peaches" by The Presidents of the United States of America, of which Ballew himself is a member
868"Life Cycles"November 14, 1997 (1997-11-14)[107]TBA#086
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Roberta Fungi – "Everything Has A Life Cycle" – Parody of "Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack
879"Do-It-Yourself Science"November 21, 1997 (1997-11-21)[108]TBA#087
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Nye & The Family Crust – "Do It Yourself Science" Parody of "Hell" by Squirrel Nut Zippers; artist name is a – Parody of Sly and the Family Stone, and Hallelujah Chorus
8810"Atoms"February 6, 1998 (1998-02-06)[109]TBA#088
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Third Nye Blind – "Atoms in My Life" – Parody of "Semi Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind
8911"Ocean Exploration"February 13, 1998 (1998-02-13)[110]TBA#089
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: The Posies – "Voyage of the Aquanauts" A – Parody of their 1993 song "Flavor of the Month". The Posies are an alternative rock group from Bellingham, Washington.
9012"Lakes, and Ponds"February 21, 1998 (1998-02-21)TBA#090
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: The Froggy Boyz – "Fond of Lakes and Ponds" Parody of "Tha Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
9113"Smell"February 28, 1998 (1998-02-28)TBA#091
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Turbinator Two – "Come on Use Your Brain (Smell This)" – Parody of "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)" by Quad City DJ's
9214"Caves"April 25, 1998 (1998-04-25)TBA#092
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Batilda & Guano – "Cave Thing" – Parody of "Shake Your Groove Thing" by Peaches & Herb

Season 6 (1998–99)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal syndication air dateOriginal PBS air dateProd.
code
931"Comets and Meteors"September 4, 1998 (1998-09-04)[111]TBA#095
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Halley Comet – "Got Me Looking" – Parody of "Shadowboxer" by Fiona Apple
942"Fluids"September 11, 1998 (1998-09-11)[112]TBA#093
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Weflo – "Drip it" – Parody of "Whip It" by Devo
953"Storms"September 18, 1998 (1998-09-18)[113]TBA#096
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Mighty Mighty Thundertones – "Stormin" Style – Parody of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
964"Erosion"September 25, 1998 (1998-09-25)[114]TBA#094
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Earth, Wind & Ice – "Causing the Erosion" Style – Parody of No Doubt; artist name is a Parody of Earth, Wind & Fire
975"The Science of Music"October 30, 1998 (1998-10-30)[115]TBA#099
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: "There's Science in Music" – Melodic Style Similar To That Of "The Time Warp" by Richard O'Brien
986"Measurement"November 13, 1998 (1998-11-13)[116]TBA#097
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: The Meter Men – "Every Measurement You Make" – Parody of "Every Breath You Take" by The Police
997"Patterns"November 20, 1998 (1998-11-20)[117]TBA#098
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Downward Spiral – "Patterns of Joy" – Parody of "Breathe" by The Prodigy; artist name reference to Nine Inch Nails.
1008"Motion"February 5, 1999 (1999-02-05)[118]TBA#100
"Soundtrack of Science" Parody song: Slow Moe – "All in Motion" – Parody of "Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen

Awards[edit]

During its run, Bill Nye the Science Guy was nominated for 23 Emmy Awards, winning nineteen.[3]

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, William Sleeth 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 Series – Bill 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 Series – Michael 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 Series – Bill 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.[119] In the United Kingdom, it was distributed on VHS by ViewTech, Bristol. In 1994 and 1995, Walt Disney Home Video released five volumes of Bill Nye the Science Guy, such as "The Human Body: The Inside Scoop", "Powerful Forces: All Pumped Up", "Dinosaurs: Those Big Boneheads", "Reptiles & Insects: Leapin' Lizards", and "Outer Space: Way Out There". All five volumes were released on VHS, containing two episodes. As of May 2017, the 1996 episode "Probability" is edited from its original airing, with a segment removed featuring a cast member saying there are only two genders. Netflix denied allegations they edited it (their new series Bill Nye Saves the World features Nye stating gender is on a spectrum) saying "It was delivered to us that way by Buena Vista TV."[120] A set of 31 episodes is also available for purchase on the iTunes Store, though they have been split into two separate volumes; one containing 14 episodes[121] and the other containing 17 episodes.[122]

Despite Disney's involvement in the series, the series has not been available on Disney+ due to a dispute with Nye over revenue sharing.[123]

Video game[edit]

A computer game based on the series, titled Bill Nye: The Science Guy – Stop the Rock!, was released in 1996 for Windows and Macintosh by Pacific Interactive.[124]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Maddus, Gene (August 25, 2017). "Bill Nye Claims Disney Withheld $28 Million in 'Science Guy' Profits". Variety. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "Schedule". Kentucky Educational Television. September 3, 1999. Archived from the original on February 9, 2001.
  3. ^ a b "Bill Nye, the Science Guy". IMDb. September 10, 1993. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Bell, Phillip (2009). Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits. National Academies Press. p. 253.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Boss, Kit (December 18, 1994). "The Bill Nye Effect". The Seattle Times.
  6. ^ a b c Beck, Andee (April 14, 1993). "KCTS embarks on cool experiment with 'Science Guy' show". The News Tribune. p. F13 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ a b Dever, Jim (June 22, 2020). "How the Science Guy got his start in Seattle". KING 5 Evening. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  8. ^ "Almost Live!: What Seattle Sketch Comedy Gave to Us". Splitsider. September 27, 2011. Archived from the original on May 6, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Sayej, Nadja (July 25, 2017). "Bill Nye: 'You can shoot the messenger but climate is still changing'". The Guardian. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  10. ^ Stainton, Bill (July 28, 2015). "How One Question Invented Bill Nye the Science Guy". Bill Stainton. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  11. ^ "Bill Nye Is Still the Nuttiest Professor". Seattle Metropolitan. September 3, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  12. ^ "HISTORICAL BACKGROUND FOR KCTS". Seattle Television History. University of Washington. Archived from the original on April 24, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Chotkowski LaFollette, Marcel (2012). Science on American Television: A History. University of Chicago Press.
  14. ^ "Bill Nye, The Science Guy | Archive of American Television". Emmytvlegends.org. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  15. ^ Heppner, Frank (2007). Teaching the Large College Class: A Guidebook for Instructors with Multitudes. John Wiley & Sons. p. 11. ISBN 9780470180846.
  16. ^ Kundanis, Rose M. (2003). Children, Teens, Families, and Mass Media: The Millennial Generation. Taylor & Francis. p. 37. ISBN 9780805845631.
  17. ^ "Bill Nye is BVT's Educational Guy" (PDF). Broadcasting. NewBay Media: 47. April 26, 1993 – via American Radio History.
  18. ^ "Disney Rings in New Year with Belle" (PDF). Broadcasting. NewBay Media: 18. January 2, 1995 – via American Radio History.
  19. ^ "Errata" (PDF). Broadcasting. NewBay Media: 35. February 5, 1996 – via American Radio History.
  20. ^ a b c Greene, Mike (June 6, 2014). "Who Wrote The Bill Nye Theme Music?". ScienceBob.com (Interview). Interviewed by Bob Pflugfelder. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  21. ^ a b Great Big Story (October 4, 2018). How Bill Nye Got into the Rap Game (Sort Of) (Video). Retrieved December 13, 2021 – via YouTube.
  22. ^ "Nye tries sparkling stint on new cable channel". Associated Press. September 24, 1999.
  23. ^ a b Moss, Linda (September 27, 1999). "Noggin Corrals Nye, The Science Guy". Multichannel News.
  24. ^ "Bill Nye, The Science Guy". CBS News. January 7, 2000.
  25. ^ Rockman; et al. "A Study of Bill Nye the Science Guy Outreach and Image Executive Summary". Seattle Television History, University of Washington. Archived from the original on June 11, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  26. ^ MacDonald, Patrick (April 21, 1993). "Bill Nye The Science Guy Gets An Assist From Disney". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
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  98. ^ "TV". Daily Citizen. Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. January 31, 1997.
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  109. ^ "Children's TV". The Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts. February 1, 1998.
  110. ^ "Saturday Morning". Chillicothe Gazette. Chillicothe, Ohio. February 14, 1998.
  111. ^ "Children's Programming Continued". The Daily Herald. Provo, Utah. August 29, 1998.
  112. ^ "TV & Radio". The Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts. September 12, 1998.
  113. ^ "TV". Daily Citizen. Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. September 18, 1998.
  114. ^ "TV". Daily Citizen. Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. September 25, 1998.
  115. ^ "Saturday TV". Miami Herald. Miami, Florida. October 31, 1998.
  116. ^ "TV". Daily Citizen. Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. November 13, 1998.
  117. ^ "Saturday's Highlights". Detroit Free Press. Detroit, Michigan. November 15, 1998.
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  119. ^ "Disney Educational Productions". dep.disney.go.com. Disney.go.com. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  120. ^ Adams, Becket (May 5, 2017). "Netflix: We didn't edit that Bill Nye episode". Washington Examiner. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  121. ^ "Bill Nye the Science Guy, Vol. 1 on iTunes". iTunes. September 10, 1993. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  122. ^ "Bill Nye the Science Guy, Vol. 2 on iTunes". iTunes. September 10, 1993. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  123. ^ "Bill Nye the Science Guy and Disney Feud over Streaming Revenue". February 26, 2021.
  124. ^ "Software can help kids weather summer doldrums". Deseret News. April 21, 1997. Retrieved September 4, 2019.

External links[edit]