Television in Brief


- Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says his Christmas tweet about Isaac Newton shouldn't be interpreted to mean he's anti-Christian.

Tyson, who will host a new late-night talk show on the National Geographic Channel starting in April, attracted attention for tweeting on Dec. 25: "On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec. 25, 1642."

It was retweeted some 80,000 times, or about 40 times more than his typical messages are shared.

He said Wednesday that he was trying to give people a cosmic perspective, and wasn't trying to insult Christians.

"We know Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day," he said at a television conference. "Who knows when Jesus was born?"

He said he was surprised that his tweet seemed to hit a nerve.

Tyson's new show, "Star Talk," will be the National Geographic Channel's first late-night series. It's based on his podcast that tries to mix pop culture with science.

The show will be taped before a studio audience at the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium in New York, the network said.

PASA - The National Geographic Channel is bringing back the "Explorer" documentary series that aired more than 2,000 films over 25 years before being taken off the air five years ago.

National Geographic Channel CEO Courteney Monroe says "Explorer" is set to get back on the air this summer.

During its run from 1985 to 2010, the "Explorer" series earned more than 50 Emmys. It included shows about North Korea, Brazil's wild animal trade and the search for a mysterious Afghan girl with striking eyes.

PA - Eva Longoria is putting her focus on the sports world in a new series of short films the actress is executive producing for ESPN.

Longoria's first effort for the "Versus" series debuting in May is about Sebastien De La Cruz, the young mariachi singer whose performance of the national anthem before Game 3 of the 2013 NBA Finals set off a barrage of racist tweets about Latinos and immigrants.

Like Longoria, De La Cruz is from San Antonio, Texas, so the story hit close to home for the Mexican-American actress. She was once married to Spurs star Tony Parker.

"I really wanted to tell that story because what came out of it was something beautiful and a really great lesson," Longoria told the Television Critics Association meeting Wednesday. "We got into this little boy who plays soccer and was thrown into the center of this debate about immigration and what it's about to be Mexican."

Longoria was approached by ESPN to work on the "Versus" series that explores moments where sports transcends the action on the field.

NEW YORK - Veteran "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft has issued an apology for an extramarital affair that he calls a "serious lapse" in judgment, a "personal failure" and "extremely hurtful" to his wife and family.

The affair was first reported by The National Enquirer, citing unnamed sources. The tabloid quoted racy text messages between Kroft and his alleged mistress.

Kroft, 69, said in a statement that he and his wife "are committed to each other." He said the affair had "no impact whatsoever" on his performance as a journalist. He has been married to journalist Jennet Conant for 23 years and they have one son.

A "60 Minutes" correspondent since 1989, Kroft joined CBS News in 1980.

Associated Press