Albert Einstein is getting the TV treatment. Today, National Geographic announced they’ve ordered a new anthology series titled Genius.
The drama will be the network’s first scripted series.
Each season of Genius will focus on the stories and accomplishments behind some of the “world’s most brilliant innovators.” Based on Walter Isaacson’s 2007 biography Einstein: His Life and Universe, the first season will focus on the achievements and life of the famous 20th century physicist. Ron Howard is slated to direct the first episode, with Noah Pink writing.
A premiere date hasn’t been announced yet.
Read more details below:
(WASHINGTON, D.C. – APRIL 28, 2016) National Geographic Channel announced today that it will go straight to series with the first scripted series in the history of the network, the global anthology GENIUS from Fox 21 Television Studios (“Homeland,” “The People v. O.J. Simpson”), Imagine Television (“24,” “Empire”), OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow. The straight-to-series order will mark the first scripted series for the network, and Academy Award winner Ron Howard will direct the first episode. Each season of the anthology will dramatize the fascinating stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators. The announcement was made by National Geographic Channels CEO Courteney Monroe and EVP of Scripted Development and Production Carolyn Bernstein, along with President of FOX 21 Television Studios Bert Salke.
The premiere season will focus on scientist Albert Einstein and will be based on Walter Isaacson’s critically acclaimed book “Einstein: His Life and Universe,” adapted by writer Noah Pink. The series will be executive produced by Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Francie Calfo, and co-produced by Anna Culp; from OddLot Entertainment, Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane will executive produce and Melissa Rucker will co-produce; and Sam Sokolow and Jeff Cooney from EUE/Sokolow will also executive produce. Pink will also executive produce alongside a showrunner soon to be announced.
The series will uncover how an imaginative, rebellious patent clerk named Albert Einstein – a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate – unlocked the mysteries of the atom and the universe. Each episode will explore the iconoclast behind these extraordinary scientific achievements, including his political activism, family life and volatile and complex personal relationships.
Oscar winner Howard (“A Beautiful Mind”) will direct the premiere episode. With production expected to begin this summer in Prague, the series will premiere on Nat Geo next spring, in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com or our press site www.foxflash.com, or follow us on Twitter using @NGC_PR.
“Genius is perfectly emblematic of our vision to create premium, distinctive and highly entertaining content that fits the National Geographic brand,” said National Geographic’s Monroe. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the exceptional teams at FOX 21 TVS, Imagine Television and OddLot to tell rich, provocative and powerful stories that celebrate human ingenuity.”
“We couldn’t be happier to be working with Imagine and OddLot to bring our spirit of creative adventure and passion for great storytelling to Nat Geo as they embark on their first scripted series. And to have Ron direct the first episode is incredibly exciting,” commented Fox 21 Television Studios’ Salke. “Genius is a franchise with infinite possibilities. We think this installment that tells the fascinating backstory of the man who articulated the theory of relativity is just the beginning of a long and successful partnership between our companies.”
“Having already worked with National Geographic on Breakthrough and currently in production on MARS – our exciting unscripted and scripted hybrid series that tells of our journey to colonize Mars – I look forward to their support as we tell this ambitious but intimate and revealing human story behind Einstein’s scientific brilliance,” said Imagine’s Howard. “I hope that his story, as well as those of other geniuses, will both entertain and inspire the next generation of Einsteins.”
“We have been patient in our search for the perfect partners to help bring Walter Isaacson’s incredible book on Einstein to life in a unique, thought-provoking and entertaining way,” OddLot’s Pritzker said. “After cultivating the project for many years, we are ecstatic that Genius will be OddLot’s first foray into television and that this remarkable story will be realized with Ron Howard at the helm and with the support of our great partners at Nat Geo, FOX 21 TVS, Imagine and EUE/Sokolow.”
What do you think? Have you read Einstein: His Life and Universe? Will you watch Genius?