WASHINGTON & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Geographic announced today the official greenlight of a second season of the scripted anthology series Genius, which tells the untold stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators. The announcement comes as the first season is set to premiere tonight.
Season two will chronicle the life of another renowned mastermind and tell the untold narrative of the person behind the genius. The identity of this virtuoso will be revealed during the season one finale of Genius on June 20.
“We are thrilled to bring back Genius for a second season and establish National Geographic’s presence in scripted television. The Genius franchise has proved to be the epitome of the premium, smart and highly entertaining content that our brand embodies and our audience craves,” said CEO of National Geographic Global Networks Courteney Monroe.
“Season one of Genius tells the fascinating backstory of the influential physicist Albert Einstein, and we are excited to delve into the life of another brilliant icon in season two, continuing our successful partnership with National Geographic and Fox 21 Television Studios,” said executive producer Ron Howard. “But we also love a little mystery, so the world will have to wait until our season one finale on June 20 to see our big unveil of the season two genius.”
“Our friends at Nat Geo have been spectacular partners, and we’re excited to continue the journey with them next season,” commented Bert Salke, President of Fox 21 Television Studios. “Ron, Brian and Ken are master storytellers who have outdone themselves on this first installment, and considering the stellar work of our cast led by Geoffrey, Johnny and Emily, the bar for the franchise has been set incredibly high. But it is also so rich with possibilities, that we can’t wait to get to work identifying and profiling our next genius.”
“Einstein is a project that we have a long history with. It took several years of development, while diligently working to find the right avenue to tell this story,” added Pritzker. “Einstein lived a large and vibrant life during a tumultuous time in history. To be able to dive in with 10 hours of programming allowed us to tell the story of the man with the depth it deserved. It was a joy and we are thrilled to be partnered with Imagine and Nat Geo, and we look forward to future seasons of this series.”
Season two will again hail from Fox 21 Television Studios, whose recent “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” dominated every awards contest and critics’ list; Imagine Television and executive producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, the team behind “24” and “Friday Night Lights”; OddLot Entertainment and executive producer Gigi Pritztker, which earlier this year produced the Academy Award-nominated film “Hell or High Water”; and show runner and executive producer Ken Biller. Also returning for season two are Sam Sokolow and Jeff Cooney from EUE/Sokolow as executive producers and co-executive producer Noah Pink.
Premiering tonight, Tuesday, April 25, at 9/8c, the first season of Genius — based on Walter Isaacson’s book “Einstein: His Life and Universe” — reveals how Albert became Einstein, exploring his extraordinary professional achievements along with his volatile, passionate and complex personal relationships. Featuring Einstein’s lovers, enemies and fellow scientific luminaries, the all-star cast includes Geoffrey Rush (“The King’s Speech,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Shine”) as the celebrated titular scientist, Johnny Flynn (“Clouds of Sils Maria,” “Song One,” “Lovesick”) as Einstein in the years before he rose to international acclaim and Emily Watson (“The Theory of Everything,” “The Book Thief”) as his second wife — and first cousin — Elsa Einstein.
Genius season one is executive produced by Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Francie Calfo, and co-produced by Anna Culp; showrunner, executive producer and writer is Ken Biller. From OddLot Entertainment, Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane are executive producers and Melissa Rucker is co-producer. Sam Sokolow and Jeff Cooney from EUE/Sokolow are also executive producers. Writer Noah Pink, who adapted the series for television, is co-executive producer. For National Geographic, Carolyn G. Bernstein is executive vice president and head of global scripted development and production. The series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and Imagine Television.
About National Geographic Partners LLC:
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 128 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 171 countries and 45 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About Fox 21 Television Studios:
Fox 21 Television Studios is a production unit housed within Fox Television Group that is devoted to making creatively ambitious scripted and unscripted series for all distribution platforms. Fox 21 Television Studios is responsible for “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (with FX Productions), the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning sensation from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson; 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; “Dice,” from Scot Armstrong, Sean Furst, Bryan Furst, Richard Shepard, Bruce Rubenstein and Andrew Dice Clay; “Queen of the South,” executive produced by David T. Friendly and Natalie Chaidez; and “Chance” from Kem Nunn, Alexandra Cunningham, Lenny Abrahamson, Michael London and Brian Grazer. Upcoming series include Genius (with Imagine, OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow) from Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Gigi Pritzker, Rachel Shane, Sam Sokolow, Jeff Cooney, Ken Biller and Noah Pink; “Seven Seconds” from Veena Sud; and Ryan Murphy’s latest anthology, “FEUD: Bette and Joan,” starring Oscar winners Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon.
About Imagine Entertainment:
Imagine Entertainment was founded in 1986 by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer to create independently produced feature films, television programs and other original programming. Imagine Entertainment has been honored with more than 60 prestigious awards including 10 Academy Awards and 42 Emmy awards. Past productions include the Academy Award Best Picture winner “A Beautiful Mind” as well as Grammy Award Best Film winner “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years.” Additional films include “Get on Up,” “Rush,” “J. Edgar,” “Frost/Nixon,” “American Gangster,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Apollo 13,” “8 Mile,” “Liar, Liar,” “Backdraft” and “Parenthood,” to name a few. Upcoming films include “Lowriders,” “The Dark Tower” and “American Made.” Television productions include Fox’s “Empire” and “24” franchise; Nat Geo’s MARS and Breakthrough; NBC’s “Parenthood” and “Friday Night Lights”; Fox’s and Netflix’s “Arrested Development”; and HBO’s “From the Earth to the Moon,” for which Howard and Grazer won the Emmy for Outstanding Mini-Series. Upcoming television productions include Fox’s “Shots Fired” and Nat Geo’s Genius. Howard and Grazer began their collaboration in 1985 with the hit comedies “Night Shift” and “Splash,” and continue to run Imagine Entertainment as chairmen.
About OddLot Entertainment:
Founded in 2001 by producer Gigi Pritzker, OddLot Entertainment is a film and television production company that develops, produces, finances and arranges distribution for quality commercial properties for the U.S. and international markets. OddLot teams with first-class filmmakers and provides them with resources that go far beyond equity investment to produce a range of high-quality films. Most recently, OddLot produced the Academy Award-nominated film “Hell or High Water,” written by Taylor Sheridan and starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster, for CBS Films. OddLot’s past releases include the 2010 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.” OddLot CEO Pritzker is part of a consortium that launched the film studio STX Entertainment founded by producer Robert Simonds. OddLot has a preferential co-producing, financing and development deal with STX. The company is based in Los Angeles, California, and is a subsidiary of Madison Wells Media, a diversified premium content company.
Founded in 2010 by producer/director Jeff Cooney and veteran television producer Sam Sokolow, EUE/Sokolow is an independent television studio that develops, finances, produces and arranges the distribution of premium television shows and content. EUE/Sokolow attracts high-end talent to develop television properties in a forward thinking business model designed for today’s global television marketplace. Recently, EUE/Sokolow independently produced pilot/presentations of “Co-Op”, a television show created by and starring Zachary Levi and written & directed by Nancy Hower & John Lehr; “Diplomatic Immunity”, a comedy starring Australian comedy troupe The Peloton; “Shalom Y’all”, a comedy by showrunner Caryn Lucas based on the work of Julia Fowler; “Win With Les”, starring Josh Lucas and created and written by Blair Singer; and are in development with Jaleel White and Pitbull’s Honey, I’m Home Inc on a currently untitled original digital series. Since opening their doors, Cooney & Sokolow have set up shows at HBO, ABC, NBC, Freeform, Nat Geo, TNT, E!, Lifetime Movie Network & OWN. EUE/Sokolow is a subsidiary of EUE/Screen Gems, whose infrastructure includes studio complexes in Atlanta, Wilmington and Miami that have been home to productions such as “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” (Lionsgate), “Sleepy Hollow” (Fox), “Iron Man 3” (Marvel Studios), “Six” (A&E/History Channel), “The Conjuring” (New Line Cinema), “Under the Dome” (CBS), “East Bound and Down” (HBO).