Many of the studio sequences filmed in rooms with entirely black walls and floors, in the middle of which various minimal set elements would be arranged, were shot in the studio classrooms of the iEAR (Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer) at Renssalear Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, near Albany. RPI students also constructed the prototype "Mars rover" shown in one of the episodes speculating on robotic exploration of other planets.
When Turner Broadcasting bought the rights to release Cosmos on VHS for the 10th anniversary of the original PBS series, CNN filmed a special 1-hour program titled "Cosmos, Episode 14: Ted Turner Interviews Dr. Sagan", where Ted Turner talks with Carl Sagan about his creation, Cosmos. In it, Sagan and Turner discuss the preservation of the Earth, nuclear weapons, the greenhouse effect, and other topics. It is only available as the last tape of the fourteen-tape series and it is not included on the DVD version.
The filming of the series lasted one year during which Carl Sagan and his production team traveled around the world, filming in places like India, Egypt, Italy, Cambodia, France, Alaska, Mexico and USA, among others.
The series featured the most extensive use of special effects ever conducted for a documentary. In one notable episode, special effects were used to make it seem as if host Sagan was walking through a model recreation of the Library of Alexandria.