Look out, Seattle: There’s a tsunami headed toward the Space Needle in former Seattleite Bill Nye’s biggest-budget series yet, Peacock’s “The End Is Nye.”

Nye, who lived in Seattle from 1977 to 2000 through the making of his 1993-98 KCTS series “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” revisits his former stomping grounds virtually in an episode devoted to tsunamis caused by a shift in the tectonic plate under the Pacific Ocean.

Nye is seen in a Seattle coffee shop — “Take Portland! Take Portland!” he says in mock panic during an interview — but “The End Is Nye,” streaming all episodes Aug. 25, filmed in Montreal with Nye on a green screen stage for much of the production.


Visually, “The End Is Nye” brings to mind the 2020 series “Cosmos: Possible Worlds.” Both shows share Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) — who cameos in at least one episode as a science-denying secretary of Commerce — and Brannon Braga (“The Orville”) among their executive producer ranks.

Nye serves as viewers’ “tour guide to the end of the world,” with a different catastrophic event befalling Earth in each episode. Nye isn’t just a talking head. He enters fictional scenes and dramatic re-creations when he’s not hosting viewers at the Museum of Catastrophic Incidents, drawing on his Seattle-sharped “Almost Live!” chops.


In Episode Six (“Ring of Fire”), earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions wreak havoc on five continents. The Puget Sound region is not spared.

“Why is it every disaster movie begins with someone ignoring a scientist?” Nye says in an episode on hurricanes and flooding. “Because it happens more often than you might think. There are too many incentives to ignore bad news, in this case the potential damage to the economy and backlash against government mandates.”

Nye’s evolution might seem like a dark turn — from leading a kids program on science fundamentals to his 2017-18 Netflix show, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” which explored the threats of a pandemic and climate change, to “The End Is Nye” — but the science educator says the messages are similar in all three shows. But, he acknowledges, the tone has changed to fit the era.

“The reason we made six, one-hour disaster movies is that when things are going well in the world, people watch romantic comedies,” Nye said. “When things are horrible, people watch disaster movies. It’s just some crazy human nature thing.”

There’s also an element of fearmongering that seems like a page out of the polarizing cable news playbook. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ’em?

“As Seth MacFarlane says, conservative media scares people and we’ve got to scare people. These are desperate times requiring desperate measures,” Nye said. “In the first half-hour, the world ends, and in the second half-hour we show how the world could be saved with science!”


Nye is quick to add that he’s not overly pessimistic about the future.

“I’m more concerned and more optimistic because young people are not going to put up with this,” he said. “Young people are going to come of age and change the world.

“Everybody’s talking this summer, about the age of our elected officials,” he continued. “All these people have been in Congress for decades. The president is at a certain age. These people are going to age out or retire or die and they’ll be replaced by young people who I’m sure are concerned about climate change, concerned about pollution, concerned about 9 billion people living on a planet that used to sustain fewer than a billion and so on and so on.”


Nye, 66, filmed “The Science Guy” for about $160,000 per episode — but “on this Peacock show, we go through $160,000 every morning.”

“The End Is Nye” is produced using a mix of green screen/digital effects and practical sets. He chalks up the Montreal shooting location to economics (“We got a deal, apparently it was reasonably priced”), nearby locations that fit the show’s stories and COVID-19 precautions.


“In Montreal, it was, like, 80% vaccination rate, socialized medicine in a civilized country, and so we didn’t have to shut down,” Nye said. “We were tested for COVID three days a week — and not rapid tests, overnight PCR tests. Nobody got sick. But if you were to try that in many U.S. cities, your chances of success go way down.”

Nye, a former Boeing engineer, said he hasn’t been back to Seattle for about a year but plans to visit this summer. Some old Seattle friends made it to Nye’s May wedding to journalist Liza Mundy at the Smithsonian Institution’s Castle Building in Washington, D.C.

“Ross Shafer [from 1984-99 Seattle sketch show ‘Almost Live!’] came, [Seattle television director] Steve Wilson was one of my groomsmen. … Simon Griffith, the guy who produced all the videos on ‘The Science Guy’ show, was there,” said Nye, who plans to be bicoastal for the foreseeable future (tsunamis notwithstanding).

“Seattle was well-represented.”

“The End Is Nye”

All episodes of the series premiere Aug. 25 on Peacock.