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TCA Press Tour: Stephen Hawking's celestial TV journey on Discovery

January 14, 2010 | 11:43 am

Who would have thought that one of the world's most famous living scientists finds time to take in a little television? Whether it's crime dramas or "The Simpsons," Stephen Hawking tunes in. He'd even like to participate in a certain popular dance reality competition.

"I'm still waiting for my invitation to 'Dancing With the Stars,' " Hawking joked via a taped message.

Until then, he's part of the upcoming Discovery Channel special "Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking."

"Although I cannot move and I have to speak through a computer, in my mind I am free," Hawking explains in a preview for the special.

The four-hour event, which takes place over three nights, features computer-generated effects and digitally enhanced NASA footage as questions such as "How did our universe begin?" and "Could alien life be found in distant planets?" are explored through the physicist's vision of the universe.

Cable rival History Channel has a similar program, "The Universe," which wrapped its fourth season last fall and also explores the mysteries of the universe.

"People will be hooked by the amazing graphics and storytelling," Hawking said of the Discovery special.

It will air in the spring.

— Yvonne Villarreal