Ultraman Cosmos aired from July 7, 2001 to September 28, 2002, with a total of 65 episodes, which currently makes it the longest running Ultra Show to date. Ultraman Cosmos was also the 35th anniversary for the Ultraman series.
In June 2002, Cosmos was taken off of television for several weeks (following the broadcast of the 49th episode) when lead actor Taiyou Sugiura was questioned in an assault and extortion case. When the case against Sugiura was dropped for lack of evidence, Cosmos was put back on the air. TBS and Tsuburaya ultimately pulled five episodes (50, 52, 54, 56, and 58) from broadcast to make up for time lost, and these episodes were later released on DVD.
The series featured many firsts for the franchise, including the start of the story in a movie rather than the series proper. Ultraman Cosmos: The First Contact was the prequel to the series and took place ten years before episode 1. In it, 9-year-old Musashi Haruno encoutners the being of light, Ultraman Cosmos, and befriends him as the two confront a threat to Earth.
Ten years later, Musashi, now 19 and a member of Team EYES, once again encounters the being of light from his childhood. The dark being Chaos Header has appeared and is corrupting the monsters of Earth, making them become ravenous and violent creatures that threaten humanity. Through Musashi’s will to see the beasts and humans live in peace, Cosmos grants him a new power that will allow him to heal the corrupted creatures.