*The Science channel is teaming with Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am to premiere the new special “i.am.mars: Reach For The Stars.”
The program, to debut Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 10 p.m., features will.i.am as he creates the single “Reach for the Stars,” which became the first song to be broadcast back to Earth from the Mars landing of NASA’s Curiosity spacecraft.
“Ever since I was a child, I have been obsessed with space travel, so hearing ‘Reach for the Stars’ broadcast back to Earth from Mars was one of the great thrills of my life,” says will.i.am.
Science channel general manager and executive vice president Debbie Myers first met will.i.am when both were invited by NASA to watch the Curiosity landing at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, Calif. The singer told Myers that he was a fan of the cable network, and told her about “Reach for the Stars” and a behind-the-scenes documentary he was shooting with the help of NASA.
“We watched the landing together and talked about it, and quickly started to work together,” Myers says. “We hooked him up with a writer and producer who worked with him and shot the last set of interviews.”
The special will follow the recording of the song, including the inclusion of a full children’s choir and orchestra, and also show how NASA engineered a song upload to Curiosity.
Myers says she hopes this is the beginning of a long-term relationship with will.i.am (who is an executive producer on the special). “What I loved about him was the first thing he said to me was, ‘I love your network, but you need to reach an urban audience,’” she says. “We will be working together to collaborate on other passion projects he has. I love what he stands for. He has a passion for kids, science, and robotics. He makes it more relatable.”