The upcoming National Geographic limited series “Aretha: Genius” will likely not be eligible for the 2020 Emmy Awards. The cable network announced Monday morning that production delays will force the program to debut later than its original Memorial Day weekend plan. The TV Academy has a June 5 deadline for this awards season.
The 10-part show stars Grammy, Tony and Daytime Emmy winner Cynthia Erivo as the legendary singer Aretha Franklin. Other cast members include Courtney B. Vance, David Cross, T.I. and Rebecca Naomi Jones.
NatGeo has been successful at the Emmys with two prior “Genius” installments. The 2017 season about Albert Einstein received 10 nominations, including for Best Limited Series, Best Actor (Geoffrey Rush) and Best Director (Ron Howard). The 2018 cycle about Pablo Picasso won twice (for cinematography and sound mixing) among seven nominations, including Best Limited Series and Best Actor (Antonio Banderas).
Here is the full press release by NatGeo:
“Production on National Geographic’s limited series ‘Genius: Aretha’ (from Fox 21 Television Studios and Imagine Television Studios) remains suspended and it has become clear that the series will not be completed in time for our previously announced Memorial Day airdate. We look forward to resuming work as soon as is possible and safe, and at that time will announce a new premiere date for later this year.
“We cannot wait to let Aretha’s voice sing, and in the words of the Queen herself, ‘Being the Queen is not all about singing, and being a diva is not all about singing. It has much to do with your service to people. And your social contributions to your community and your civic contributions as well.’
“In that spirit, we wish all of our viewers well in these challenging times, particularly those who are working in our communities to keep us all safe.”
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