SFWRITER.COM > About Rob > Rob on TV
Robert J. Sawyer on TV
Robert J. Sawyer has made over 200 television appearances, including
the programs below. To book Rob on your show, or request a copy of his
demo tape, e-mail
Carolyn Clink at email@example.com.
The Agenda |
Rivera Live |
Sci-Fi Buzz |
Pamela Wallin |
Canada A.M. |
Saturday Night at the Movies |
Prisoners of Gravity |
Benmergui Live |
Early Edition |
2020 Vision |
The Agenda is an hour-long nightly prime-time current-affairs
program hosted by Steve Paikin. The show devotes the entire hour
to a single topic, featuring the kind of lengthy interviews and in-depth
discussion rarely seen on TV. This episode, which aired on April 12, 2007,
dealt with neuroplasticity the brain's ability to rewire its own
components to perform new tasks.
VIDEO: Robert J. Sawyer on The Agenda
Rivera Live is hosted by famed American broadcaster
Geraldo Rivera. Rob was a guest on this show in June 2000, talking
about the future ramafications of the completion of the sequencing of the
The Sci-Fi Channel
Sci-Fi Buzz is the news program produced by the American
Sci-Fi Channel. A terrific team from Dick Crew Productions followed Rob
around the 1996 World Science Fiction Convention in Los Angeles, preparing
a feature profile of Rob and his work for this program.
Sci-Fi Buzz had also interviewed Rob when he won the Nebula Award in
April 1996 the little picture in the top row shows an ecstatic Rob the moment he
received the award.
The bottom row shows Rob's autographing at the convention and
Rob schmoozing in the SFWA Suite with author Joe Haldeman and Rob's
longtime editor at Ace Susan Allison.
Pamela Wallin is Canada's top-rated talk show. It appears
every weeknight in prime time on CBC Newsworld, Canada's equivalent of CNN.
Rob's been on this show twice now, each time for the full hour of the
broadcast. In one installment, Rob was talking about the future of communications with
Catherine Murray and Wade Rowland (that's Pam, Rob, and Catherine in the
top row); the other time, he was talking with fellow author Tad Williams (that's Rob, Pam, and
Tad in the second row of pictures). Pam is a fantastic interviewer (and former
anchor of The National, CBC TV's nightly newscast).
Canada A.M. is Canada's most-watched morning show Canada's
counterpart of Good Morning America; it airs on CTV
live from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. weekdays on Canada's
national commercial television network and they always send a
limousine to pick Rob up!
Here's Rob being interviewed by co-host Dan Matheson about
Rob's novel Frameshift. The great thing
about Dan as an interviewer is he actually personally reads the
books before the show.
Saturday Night at the Movies
Saturday Night at the Movies is the most popular program on
TVOntario; it's been hosted for over twenty years by Elwy Yost (father of
Speed screenwriter Graham Yost). Every week, two
uncut, commercial-free movies are shown, with commentary by
in-studio guests. In October 1995, Rob was the sole guest for a double
bill of The Thing (original version) and Invasion of the
Body Snatchers. TVOntario has repeated this broadcast every Halloween
Midday airs every weekday at noon on CBC television. It's
famous for its in-depth coverage of books and authors. Here co-host
Brent Bambury interview Rob about
The Terminal Experiment.
TVOntario and CBC Newsworld
TV shows are always looking for interesting backgrounds to interview
Rob against. Imprint, Canada's national book-news program,
which airs weekly on TVOntario and Newsworld, did a feature profile of
Rob in 1997. They interviewed him in a variety of laboratories at
the University of Toronto's Institute for Aerospace Studies and at
Canada's federal Atmospheric Environment Service.
Prisoners of Gravity
TVOntario and Selected PBS Stations
"In 139 episodes of Prisoners of Gravity, the one guest
we would tape for 30 minutes and have all 30 minutes end up
on the air was Rob Sawyer. When we needed a quote on a subject,
we'd phone him up, he'd come boogying down to our studio, give us
twelve pithy quotes, and go home again."
Host, Prisoners of Gravity
Prisoners of Gravity was a spectacular
half-hour weekly series devoted to science fiction and comic books produced by TVOntario.
Host Rick Green (now of The Red Green Show) was
supposedly marooned in a communications satellite, but he dialed up
authors and artists down on Earth for video interviews. Rob was the
single most-frequent guest on this series, making sixteen appearances over
PoG's five-year run.
Rob often talked about things other than his own work. For instance,
in this episode on "Artificial Intelligence," he's discussing HAL
from Arthur C. Clarke's 2001.
Space: The Imagination Station
After co-creating and co-producing Prisoners of Gravity,
Mark Askwith ended up as a producer at Space: The Imagination Station,
Canada's science-fiction cable channel. He frequently includes Rob in
Space's daily SPIN ("Space Information and News") program.
(Early in 1998, SPIN was renamed Space News.)
The top two frames are from SPIN's coverage of the launch of
the anthology Tesseracts 6, edited by
Rob and his wife Carolyn Clink.
The bottom two frames are from SPIN's coverage of the book launch for
Rob's ninth novel, Illegal Alien, held at
Toronto's Bakka Books Rob signing on the left and reading from
the book on the right.
Says Mark Askwith:
"I have interviewed over 600 writers since 1986, and one of the most
thoughtful, provocative, and articulate authors I have ever interviewed
is Robert J. Sawyer. Rob has a degree in Radio and Television Arts, and
he knows how to deliver what producers want. This knowledge of media,
coupled with his wide-ranging and thorough grasp of science and science
fiction, makes him an ideal guest.
"Rob's real gift is the ability to find the most compelling and correct
metaphor, guiding viewers effortlessly through a landscape they might
otherwise find forbidding or inaccessible.
"Robert Sawyer made more appearances on Prisoners of Gravity (a show
about the intersection of science and science fiction which I co-created
and co-produced for five seasons) than any other guest more often than
Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, or William Gibson. I have repeatedly
recommended Mr. Sawyer to the producers with the CBC, Discovery, and CTV
and many have called me back to thank me for his name.
"There is a sign over my door at Space: The Imagination Station, and it
reads 'The Robert J. Sawyer Wing'.
On second thought . . . don't use Rob. I want him all for myself!"
Space: The Imagination Station
Benmergui Live is a weekday daytime talk show on CBC Newsworld
hosted by Ralph Benmergui, with in-studio experts fielding phone
calls from all over Canada and questions from the studio audience.
Rob is a frequent guest on this popular show.
In this installment Rob and Ralph (joined by bioethicist Maureen McTeer via
satellite on the monitor) discuss the ramifications of the cloning of the
The Canadian media often call Rob when there's a breaking science news story.
Here Rob is interviewed via satellite from Toronto for Early Edition,
CBC Newsworld's early-evening newscast, produced in Calgary. Rob is
explaining the importance of the discovery of putative Martian fossils in
an Antarctic meteorite to anchor Ann Petrie.
The Discovery Channel
"Robert J. Sawyer is not only a brilliant writer but also an insightful
broadcaster who is as compelling to watch on television as he is to read in
print. He has mastered the skill of turning his powerful visions of the
future into relevant and thought-provoking commentary on the major issues
facing us today."
The Discovery Channel
The Discovery Channel has a Canadian version, and every weeknight
it does an hour-long science-news program called
@discovery.ca the only show of its kind in the world.
In 1996 and 1997, Toronto special-effects expert Michael Lennick
produced many segments on various science-fiction topics for this
program, and he used Rob as a commentator fifteen different times.
All of Michael's interviews with Rob were videotaped in Rob's home that's
his Nebula Award trophy and one of his five
Aurora Award trophies behind him.
The Discovery Channel
The success of Rob's interviews with Michael Lennick on
@discovery.ca led to Rob getting his own regular
segment on that series in the 1997-1998 season. In each segment,
Rob took on the role of a person from the year A.D. 2020 in
@discovery.ca co-host Gillian Deacon interviewed
Rob about an aspect of life in the future
virtual reality, and
more. After the interview,
Jay Ingram, @discovery.ca's other host, led
Rob and three academics in a panel discussion about the issues
raised in Rob's futuristic scenario. That's Jay on the left
in the wide shot, and panelists Michael Higgins (a religious-studies
professor), Pauline Mazumdar (a medical doctor), Rob, and hidden
behind Rob, computer scientist (and former
Scientific American columnist) A. K. Dewdney.
Rob is also frequently heard on radio, having made over 200
appearances to date. Here he is being interviewed in
April 1998 about artificial intelligence by Peter Kavanagh for
CBC Radio's most-popular program, This Morning.
Other radio appearances made that same year included a full hour
(along with Leonard Nimoy) on Talk of the Nation's
"Science Friday" on National Public Radio, and an hour
on Talk Back on the Talk Radio Network, plus two
hours each on KINN in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and
WLVL in Lewiston, New York; full hours on each of
KEYL in Long Prairie, Minnesota, KUKI in Ukiah,
California, and KFH in Wichita, Kansas; forty-five
minutes on each of WGY in Albany, New York, KFYR
in Bismark, North Dakota, and WBAA in East Lafayette,
Indiana; and half-hour interviews on KIXL
in Austin, Texas, KPAY in Chico, California, and
KSIM in Sikeston, Missouri. Rob was also heard that year on CFRB in Toronto, Ontario; CHAY in Barrie, Ontario;
KSMA in Santa Maria, California; KILO in Colorado
Springs, Colorado; WXKB in Estero, Florida; WVLK in
Lexington, Kentucky; WCHB and WQBH, both in
Detroit, Michigan; KDAL in Minneapolis, Minnesota;
WHTT in Buffalo, New York; KNEWS in Portland,
Oregon; WKDR in Burlington, Vermont; and others.
"It was a pleasure to work with you, and I look forward to the next time."
Talk of the Nation: Science Friday
National Public Radio
"Robert J. Sawyer has twice been my guest for the full two hours
of KINN's Afternoon Alamogordo. His books encompass so many
topical themes, there's never a lack of discussion ideas. Having
him on the air is like hitting the warp-drive button: times goes
way too fast. Robert Sawyer's the perfect guest: a writer with
great ideas, thoughtful topics, and a future vision that can't be
Host, Afternoon Alamogordo
KINN-FM, Alamogordo, New Mexico
"I did over 2,000 author interviews during my time at WBAA
and Rob has the distinction of being the author I interviewed
most frequently. It was always a pleasure to discuss the ideas
behind the books with him. He is also the only author whose
books I've always read from cover to cover prior to the interview."
WBAA-AM, Indiana NPR Affiliate
"I haven't had this much fun in a long time! Forget the Psychic
Friends Network Sawyer provides a realistic look at the
future. He's a great guest whom we hope to have back many
WLVL-AM, Lewiston, New York
"A pleasure having you on the air. You should be doing radio or
television yourself your personality comes through via the
microphone, and you have an infectious enthusiasm."
Peter Anthony Holder
Host, CJAD Tonight
CJAD 800 A.M. Montreal
"At last count, I've interviewed Robert J. Sawyer seventeen times,
covering ten novels and various awards. He's always entertaining and
extremely well-versed in the science behind his stories, whether it's alien
messages, computers, dinosaurs, or murder."
CHAY-FM, Barrie, Ontario
More Good Reading
A guide to the clips on Rob's TV demo tape
TV coverage for Calculating God
Radio-TV Interview Report ad for Factoring Humanity
Radio-TV Interview Report ad for Frameshift
Media backgrounder on Rob Sawyer
Outline for Rob's three hour-long radio documentaries about SF
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