Watch Cynthia Erivo Wear the Queen of Soul’s Crown in the “Genius: Aretha” Trailer

The eight-episode series airs March 21 via the National Geographic Channel.

A little under a year ago, the premiere date for the new anthology series about Aretha Franklin was undetermined as a result of COVID-19. After finishing filming in Atlanta last November, the series now has an official premiere date and trailer. The new sneak peek shows Academy Award–nominated actress Cynthia Erivo, who plays the iconic singer, crowned the Queen of Soul. From the looks of the trailer, the show takes us through Franklin’s younger years as a singer in a gospel choir with her minister Rev. C.L. Franklin (Courtney B. Vance) through her successful career as a recording artist and civil rights activist.

From the small glimpse, it seems Erivo will be delivering the confidence and grace of the late queen. At one point producer Jerry Wexler, played by David Cross, annoyingly questions her authority. “You only got three chords?” he asks. “I will make ’em sound like a million bucks,” she replies, undeterred by his ignorance. Airing on the National Geographic Channel, Genius: Aretha is an eight episode event spread across four nights.

Check out the premiere on Sunday, March 21 at 7 p.m. PST on National Geographic.


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