NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL GOES STRAIGHT TO SERIES WITH ITS FIRST MULTISEASON SCRIPTED ANTHOLOGY SERIES, "GENIUS,"
HAILING FROM FOX 21 TELEVISION STUDIOS,
IMAGINE TELEVISION, ODDLOT ENTERTAINMENT
ACADEMY AWARD WINNER RON HOWARD
TO DIRECT FIRST EPISODE
Debut Season to Focus on Albert Einstein,
Based on Walter Isaacson Biography
(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."
More About "Einstein: His Life and Universe"
By the author of the acclaimed best-sellers "Benjamin Franklin" and "Steve Jobs," this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein. How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson's biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. Einstein's fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. These traits are just as vital for this new century of globalization, in which our success will depend on our creativity, as they were for the beginning of the past century, when Einstein helped usher in the modern age.
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About National Geographic Channel
The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels include: National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that help support the society's mission. Globally, NGC is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and Nat Geo WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250 million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55 million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com and www.natgeowild.com.
About Fox 21 Television Studios
Fox 21 Television Studios is a production unit housed within Fox Television Group devoted to making creatively ambitious scripted and unscripted series for all distribution platforms. Fox 21 Television Studios is responsible for the sensation from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" (with FX Productions), the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning "Homeland" starring Claire Danes and
Mandy Patinkin; the critically acclaimed "The Americans" (with FX Productions) starring Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell; Brannon Braga and Adam Simon's "Salem"; and Howard Gordon's "Tyrant." New series include Fox 21 TVS' "Dice," from Scot Armstrong, Sean Furst, Bryan Furst, Richard Shepard, Bruce Rubenstein and Andrew Dice Clay; "Queen of the South," from M.A. Fortin, Joshua John Miller, David T. Friendly and Pancho Mansfield; and "Chance" from Kem Nunn, Alexandra Cunningham, Lenny Abrahamson, Michael London and Brian Grazer.
About OddLot Entertainment
OddLot Entertainment is a Los Angeles-based film and television production company that develops, produces, finances and arranges distribution for quality commercial properties for the U.S. and international markets. In addition, OddLot CEO Gigi Pritzker is part of a consortium that launched the next-generation film studio STX Entertainment founded by producer Robert Simonds. OddLot has produced Academy Award-nominated drama "Rabbit Hole" starring Nicole Kidman; "The Way, Way Back" starring Steve Carell; "Drive" starring Ryan Gosling; the futuristic sci-fi film "Ender's Game"; and Jon Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."