Science Channel Does Reruns Right with Firefly

Reruns are a great way to catch up on shows that you've missed—like, duh, obviously. But what's the point in tuning into reruns of a show you love when you could just as easily pop in the discs from your [name of the TV series that's being rerun] DVD box set, skip the annoying commercials, and watch it on your own time?

That's where Science Channel comes in with a simple, yet genius way to add to the experience. Instead of just buying rights to re-air an old show, the Discovery Channel offshoot will add something to the formula when it begins re-airing the cult hit FireflyJoss Whedon's much beloved sci-fi Western—on March 6, starting with the two-hour pilot.

Rather than just throwing the show willy-nilly to ads for commercial breaks, super-scientist Dr. Michio Kaku will add commentary, "explaining why the science fiction featured in the show really isn't that far from science fact," according to Discovery. Kaku is a science rock star who has been featured on all kinds of shows, and he's one of those passionate scientists who can make the subject both entertaining and fascinating. While it's unclear how Dr. Kaku's commentaries will be added to the broadcasts, he's great on camera, so I hope they will be short videos. [UPDATE: Yes! Discovery has confirmed that Dr. Kaku will appear in interstitial videos throughout each episode.]

This is how networks should air reruns, and it's so easy. Add something to the mix by offering some inside information, some extra explanation, anything. And no, those pop-up bubbles on Lost reruns don't count. Imagine if Dr. Kaku tackled that show!

What shows would you like to see get the same hyper-exploratory treatment?

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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