National Geographic has greenlit its first scripted series, Genius. Based on Walter Isaacson’s Einstein: His Life and Universe, Genius will be executive produced by Oscar winner Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Gigi Pritzker, Rachel Shane, Sam Sokolow, Jeff Cooney, and Noah Pink. Ron Howard will direct the first episode and Noah Pink is adapting Isaacson’s critically acclaimed book for the series. The anthology series, which will focus season one on Albert Einstein, is a Fox 21 Television Studios, Imagine Television, OddLot Entertainment, and EUE/Sokolow production.
According to National Geographic Channel, filming will take place in Prague this summer. The series will air in 171 countries in spring 2017.
“Genius is perfectly emblematic of our vision to create premium, distinctive and highly entertaining content that fits the National Geographic brand,” said National Geographic Channel’s CEO Courteney 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,” stated President of FOX 21 Television Studios Bert 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 Ron 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,” added OddLot’s Gigi Pritzker. “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.”
The Genius Plot: 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.