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TV News Roundup: National Geographic Releases ‘Genius: Aretha’ Teaser, Starring Cynthia Erivo

In today’s TV news roundup, National Geographic released a teaser for “Genius: Aretha” and Quibi released a teaser for “Most Dangerous Game” starring Liam Hemsworth.

FIRST LOOKS

National Geographic unveiled a teaser for Genius: Aretha that will also air during the Oscars on Sunday. The eight-part series will premiere on May 25 at 9 p.m. and air over four consecutive nights. The series explores Aretha Franklin’s musical career and the impact she has had on music and culture around the world. The cast includes Cynthia Erivo as Franklin, Courtney B. Vance, David Cross, Malcom Barett, Pualetta Washington, Patricia Covington, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Steven Norfleet, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Omar J. Dorsey, Marque Richardson and Shaian Jordan.

Quibi released a teaser for “Most Dangerous Game” starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz. The action-thriller follows Dodge Maynard (Hemsworth) who accepts an offer to participate in a deadly game in order to take care of his pregnant wife before a terminal illness takes his life. Maynard soon finds out that he is not the hunter in the game, but the prey. The series is produced by CBS Television Studios and is executive produced by Nick Santora, who is also the writer, and Phil Abraham, who directs the show.

SPECIALS

TBS announced an upcoming “Friends” marathon will run from Feb. 10 to March 6 on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The month-long marathon will begin with the pilot and continue until the series finale. The network will also have these episodes available on livestream on the TBS app.

DEALS

Minnie Driver has extended her production deal with 20th Century Fox TV. As part of the deal, the former “Speechless” star has launched her own Huge Fan Productions banner and tapped Marty Coffou as head of development and production. Huge Fan is already getting into business with another Disney property in FX, as the two are developing a dramedy based on the Texas Monthly article “A Tree is Known by Its Fruit” about a West Texas family who own and run a pecan empire. Driver is eyeing a potential starring role in the project, according to sources. The new shingle has also secured the rights to “Maeve in America: Essays by a Girl from Somewhere Else” from Irish author Maeve Higgins, and intends to develop the memoir a series.

EXECUTIVE NEWS

DreamWorks Animation announced the streamlining of executive leadership in its TV division under Teri Weiss as executive vice president of development and Kelly Kulchak as executive vice president of current programming. Weiss previously served as executive vice president of preschool development and current series, while Kulchak served as executive vice president of current programming for kids series. Other promotions in this division also included Ben Cawood to senior vice president of television, David Wiebe to senior vice president of current programming, Ania O’Hare to senior vice preisdent of television casting and talent relations, and Alexandra Nickson to senior vice president of television music.

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