PBS has acquired the North American distribution rights for the documentary film Bill Nye: Science Guy, which follows the titular science advocate and TV personality in his mission to get Americans excited about science and science education.
PBS Distribution (PBSd) will release the film in theaters across the country later this year, following a festival tour that will include screenings at AFI Docs in Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles Film Festival. It will have its broadcast premiere in 2018 via the PBS documentary series POV. PBSd will handle all home entertainment, digital, educational/non-theatrical and Canadian rights.
Nye is the CEO of The Planetary Society, where he is leading a mission to launch a solar-powered satellite into the cosmos and advocating for the importance of science research and discovery. He is taking on those who deny the importance of science, with the goal of creating a more scientifically literate and engaged world. Bill Nye: Science Guy was produced and directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg. It was also produced by Seth Gordon, Kate McLean and Nick Pampenella, executive produced by Walker Deibel, Mary Rohlich, Henry S. Rosenthal and Chad Troutwine, and co-executive produced by Andre Gaines.
“We are over the moon to add Bill Nye: Science Guy to our theatrical slate and to be partnering with POV to bring Bill back to PBS,” said PBS Distribution’s head of theatrical, Erin Owens. “The filmmakers have given us a revealing portrait of an icon whose work and personality are seared indelibly into the minds of so many Americans. We can’t wait to bring this film to audiences across the country, and we know they’ll leave the theater further inspired by Bill Nye and his lifelong quest to making science a national priority.”
“Many of us grew up with Bill Nye: Science Guy,” said POV executive director/executive producer Justine Nagan. “He loved science, and he inspired a whole generation of kids to share that passion through his PBS show. Now, as Bill Nye has focused on his role as a champion for climate science, we hope his story and this film will spark dialogue across ideological lines. We are thrilled to bring this outstanding independent film on Bill’s life and work to public media audiences.”
Marie Nelson, the VP of news and independent film at PBS, commented, “Bill Nye has long been synonymous with education, science—and PBS! So, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with POV and PBSd to bring this film both to PBS audiences and to theater audiences across the country. His message of the importance of science education is as relevant today as when his show debuted on PBS nearly 25 years ago.”
The filmmakers remarked, “We’re thrilled to partner with PBS, PBSd and POV to bring this film to American audiences. We grew up as middle-schoolers watching Bill Nye on PBS, and we’re science filmmakers in no small part due to The Science Guy. It’s a dream come true to have our movie in theaters and on public television, and we know our film is in good hands with the PBS family.”