Be the most informed person in the room with Newsy's free e-newsletter

View our privacy policy:
Obama's Final Days As President
Featured Series: Obama's Final Days As President
President Obama's days as Commander in Chief are numbered, but that hasn't stopped him from making some last-minute moves.  

Did An Oklahoma TV Station Censor Evolution Out Of 'Cosmos'?

By accident or design, KOKH aired an ad spot over an evolution reference in Fox's "Cosmos" reboot Sunday.

The premiere of "Cosmos," a rebooted science documentary series hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, was ripe for some sort of controversy. But one Oklahoma TV station has come under fire for allegedly censoring the program.

Here's the original clip, where Tyson mentions humanity's biological ancestors. "We stood up and parted ways with them. Once we were standing on two feet, our eyes were no longer fixated on the ground." (Via Fox / "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey")

But if you live in Oklahoma City, and were watching the show on KOKH, this is what you saw:

"It's 9:45 on New Year's Eve."

"Coming up tonight at 9, the new evidence showing our biggest earthquake could have been man-made." (Via YouTube / Adam Bates)

Whoops. That 15-second local news spot ran right over Tyson's brief discussion of human evolution, ending only when the host returned to early human history. 

KOKH apologized for the edit on Twitter Wednesday, blaming it on "operator error." You don't have to scroll very far down in the comments to see that some people aren't buying it.

And several media outlets are skeptical, too — io9 has some pretty big air quotes around the "accidental" part of this story, and Mediaite wonders if the cut was "a deliberate effort by that Oklahoma station to scrub evolution from Cosmos' premiere​."

But the Los Angeles Times gives the station the benefit of the doubt, noting another scene, in which Tyson explains how life on land evolved from the oceans, was left untouched.

And a The Raw Story blogger points out KOKH can hardly keep evolution out of "Cosmos" forever.

"If this was intentional and not a mistake, so many questions arise, starting with, 'Well, how will they deal with the next episode?' You know, the one he was talking about that’s coming up next, where the history of human evolution promises to be dealt with at length?"

According to Nielsen, the "Cosmos" premiere drew in 8.5 million viewers across 10 different networks.

Featured Stories
Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell in "A Night at the Roxbury."

When It Comes To Numbers For Women In Film, It Might As Well Be 1998

Candles are lit during a vigil for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.

FBI Officials Arrested The Wife Of The Orlando Nightclub Shooter

A man walks through the European Parliament

Election Of Top EU Official Gets Little Attention Before Vote

Want to see more stories like this?
Like Newsy on Facebook for More Coverage