Cynthia Erivo, a 2020 Academy Awardâ nominee, stars as Aretha Franklin in the third season of the critically acclaimed global anthology series.
GENIUS: ARETHA will premiere over four consecutive nights, beginning Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, at 9/8c. GENIUS: ARETHA will be the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of Aretha Franklin. The eight-part series will explore Franklin’s musical genius and incomparable career — and the immeasurable impact and lasting influence she has had on music and culture around the world. GENIUS: ARETHA will broadcast in 172 countries and in 43 languages on National Geographic Channels.
The cast includes Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet,” Broadway’s “The Color Purple”) as Aretha Franklin; Courtney B. Vance (“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”) as C.L. Franklin; David Cross (“Goliath,” “Arrested Development”) as Jerry Wexler; Malcolm Barrett (“Timeless,” “Preacher”) as Ted White; Pauletta Washington (“She’s Gotta Have It”) as Grandmother Rachel; Patrice Covington (Broadway’s “The Color Purple”) as Erma Franklin; Rebecca Naomi Jones (“The Big Sick”) as Carolyn Franklin; Steven Norfleet (“Watchmen”) as Cecil Franklin; Kimberly Hébert Gregory (“Vice Principals”) as Ruth Bowen; Omar J. Dorsey (“Queen Sugar”) as James Cleveland; Marque Richardson (“Dear White People”) as King Curtis; and introducing Shaian Jordan as Little Re.