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TCA: National Geographic to Debut ‘Genius: Aretha’ March 21

National Geographic has set a March 21 date for the debut of its Genius: Aretha mini-series profiling the life of legendary R&B singer Aretha Franklin.

The eight-episode series stars Cynthia Erivo as the Queen of Soul. Nat Geo will air two episodes each week over four consecutive nights beginning March 21, with episodes appearing on Hulu the day after airing. All episodes will be available for streaming on March 25, Franklin’s birthday. 

The network also announced four new unscripted projects from Free Solo producers Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin.

The deal includes two feature documentaries, a 10-part series and a one-hour pilot. The projects includes the feature documentary Thai Cave Rescue that chronicles the 2018 rescue of a boys’ soccer team trapped inside a flooded cave in Thailand. Another project profiles conservationist Kristine Tompkins, while Into the Unknown focuses on elite athletes, and Photographer profiles Nat Geo photographers. 

“Chai and Jimmy are masterful storytellers who bring unparalleled artistry and distinctive vision to everything they do,” said Carolyn Bernstein, EVP of scripted content and documentary films for National Geographic in a statement. “We are proud to continue our partnership with them to tell these profound stories in an authentic yet innovative way.”