Thursday, April 28, 2016

National Geographic Picks Up Scripted Anthology 'Genius' with Ron Howard Set to Direct

National Geographic has given a straight-to-series order to its first ever ongoing scripted series, Genius. The anthology series will change focus with each season - telling the stories of the world's most brilliant innovators. The first season will focus on physicist Albert Einstein and be based on Walter Isaacson's biography Einstein: His Life and Universe.

The first season of Genius will explore how Albert Einstein, an imaginative and rebellious patent clerk, a struggling father in a difficult marriage, and who couldn't get a teaching job with a doctorate, unlocked the mysteries of the atom and the universe through his theory of relativity. The series will explore the iconoclast behind these extraordinary scientific achievements, including his political activism, family life and volatile personal relationships.

Noah Pink is writing the drama, with Ron Howard set to direct the first episode. They will executive produce with Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Gigi Pritzker, Rachel Shane, Sam Sokolow and Jeff Cooney. Anna Culp and Melissa Rucker will serve as co-executive producers. Imagine Television, Fox 21 Television Studios, OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow will produce.

Production is slated to begin this summer in Prague, with a premiere on National Geographic slated for Spring 2017 in 171 countries and 45 languages.

"Genius is perfectly emblematic of our vision to create premium, distinctive and highly entertaining content that fits the National Geographic brand," said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Channels. "We are thrilled to be partnering with the exceptional teams at Fox 21, Imagine TV and OddLot to tell rich, provocative and powerful stories that celebrate human ingenuity."

"Genius is a franchise with infinite possibilities," added Bert Salek, President, Fox 21 TV Studios. "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."

"I look forward to National Geographic's support as we tell this ambitious but intimate and revealing human story behind Einstein's scientific brilliance," said Howard. "I hope that his story, as well as those of other geniuses, will both entertain and inspire the next generation of Einsteins."