National Geographic is going to uncharted territory – at least for them. According to Variety, the network has ordered its first entirely scripted show to series. It’s set to be called Genius and will be an anthology series that focuses on the life stories of well-known innovators of the past. The first installment is set to be about Albert Einstein.
Ron Howard, the prolific director and father of Bryce Dallas Howard, is expected to direct the first episode and Brian Grazer is expected to executive produce the first episode. This will reunite Grazer and Howard, who worked together on NBC’s Parenthood, which finished its six season run in 2015. Grazer and Howard were the founders of Imagine Entertainment, which will produce the show along with Fox 21 Television Studios, OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow.
The series will be based on Walter Isaacson’s book Einstein: His Life and Universe. The episodes will be written by Noah Pink.
Other executive producers for Genius include Pink, Francie Calfo, Gigi Pritzker, Rachel Shane, Sam Sokolow and Jeff Cooney. The co-executive producers include Melissa Rucker and Anna Culp. There’s no current showrunner but one is expected to be announced soon.
Don’t expect for Genius to be the only scripted series coming to NatGeo. The National Geographic Channels CEO Courteney Monroe has said she wants more scripted shows to air on the network. Back in December, Monroe hired Carolyn Bernstein to be the head of scripted television for the network.
“Genius is perfectly emblematic of our vision to create premium, distinctive and highly entertaining content that fits the National Geographic brand,” Monroe said.
Currently, the closest project to being scripted is Mars, which is both scripted and unscripted. Coincidentally, Howard also worked on the show. He’s also contributed to NatGeo’s Breakthrough.
Commenting on working on Genius, Howard said “I look forward to their support as we tell this ambitious but intimate and revealing human story behind Einstein’s scientific brilliance. I hope that his story, as well as those of other geniuses, will both entertain and inspire the next generation of Einsteins.”
An exact premiere date hasn’t been announced yet, but NatGeo hopes Genius will premiere in spring 2017. The show will air in 171 countries and will be in 45 different languages. Filming begins this summer in Prague.