The Story of a Genius

Catching up with Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Einstein

Science has spent the past 100 years developing ways to test Albert Einstein’s theories, and then confirming through observation that he was correct. In 2016, for example, scientists confirmed the existence of gravitational waves after measuring the effects of two black holes colliding. That collision took place 1.4 billion years ago. Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916. A century later, a signal hit a detector in Louisiana and then, 1.1 milliseconds later, hit another detector in Washington. We saw gravitational waves cause spacetime ripples that traveled at the speed of light. Einstein was right.

But scientific prophecy is hardly the whole story of Einstein. In some ways, Einstein’s theories and papers are the tip of an iceberg. Sure, he revolutionized our understanding of the universe. But he didn’t spend his entire existence spouting mathematical formulas. He led a life full of passion, rebellion, and occasional tumult. And maybe that story can tell us something about his scientific mind.

In fact, the story of Albert Einstein’s life will be told on the National Geographic Channel in their first ever scripted series, Genius. Its premiere on Tuesday, April 25 (9/8c) promises to be a major television event. Tune in to National Geographic on DISH channel 186 when you subscribe to America’s Top 200 or America’s Top 250 packages.

We sat down with Genius creators Ron Howard and Brian Grazer to get the inside scoop.

Telling Einstein’s story as though he were an artist seems to us like a wonderful innovation. And National Geographic is exactly the right platform for it. In a television landscape that is overrun with stories of petty geniuses—guys who know better than everyone else in the room, guys who think the rules don’t apply to them—it’s refreshing to see the story of the greatest genius of the 20th Century, and understand that the rules were very much used against him. What other TV genius fled fascists? Watch the trailer below and see how the show takes the themes Einstein was obsessed with and the way he lived his life and turns them into an incredible, beautiful experience.