The latest installment in the “Genius” series is Genius: Aretha, focusing on the life of legendary singer Aretha Franklin. It premieres Sunday, March 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Nat Geo. The first two episodes will air Sunday night, and each of the following three nights will each have two more new episodes, for a total of eight episodes in four nights.
If you don’t have cable or don’t have that channel, here are several different ways you can watch Genius: Aretha streaming online for free:
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You can watch a live stream of Nat Geo and 100-plus other TV channels on FuboTV, which comes with a seven-day free trial:
Once signed up for FuboTV, you can watch Genius: Aretha live on the FuboTV app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TV, Android TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. You can also watch on your computer via the FuboTV website.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV comes with 250 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as a 72-hour look-back feature, which allows you to watch most shows on-demand within three days (and sometimes longer) of their conclusion, even if you don’t record them.
AT&T TV has four different channel packages: “Entertainment”, “Choice”, “Ultimate” and “Premier.” Nat Geo is included in every one, but you can pick any package and any add-on you want with your free 14-day trial.
Note that the free trial isn’t advertised as such, but your “due today” amount will be $0 when signing up. If you watch on your computer, phone or tablet, you won’t be charged for 14 days. If you watch on a streaming device on your TV (Roku, Firestick, Apple TV, etc.), you will be charged for the first month, but you can get still get a full refund if you cancel before 14 days:
Once signed up for AT&T TV, you can watch Genius: Aretha live on the AT&T TV app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the AT&T TV website.
If you can’t watch live, AT&T TV also comes with 20 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours).
You can watch a live stream of Nat Geo and 65+ other TV channels via Hulu With Live TV, which you can try out for free with a seven-day trial:
Once signed up for Hulu With Live TV, you can watch Genius: Aretha live on the Hulu app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Android TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the Hulu website.
If you can’t watch live, Hulu with Live TV comes with both its extensive on-demand library (which includes most shows after they air) and 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
You can watch a live stream of Nat Geo and 65+ other TV channels on Vidgo. This option doesn’t include a free trial, but it is the cheapest streaming service with Nat Geo:
Once signed up for Vidgo, you can watch Genius: Aretha live on the Vidgo app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the Vidgo website.
‘Genius: Aretha’ Preview
The “Genius” series aims to dramatize “the fascinating stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators, their extraordinary achievements and with their volatile, passionate and complex personal relationships,” according to the Nat Geo press release.
The third season of the series will focus on Aretha Franklin and her “musical genius and incomparable career, as well as the immeasurable impact and lasting influence she has had on music and culture around the world. Grammy Award winner Franklin was a gospel prodigy, an outspoken civil rights champion and widely considered to be the greatest singer of the past 50 years, receiving countless honors throughout her career. Franklin will be portrayed by the triple threat Tony-, Emmy- and Grammy Award-winning Cynthia Erivo (‘Harriet,’ ‘The Color Purple’) and Emmy-winning Courtney B. Vance will play Aretha’s father, C.L. Franklin.”
The series will feature some of Franklin’s biggest recordings and hits, including ranklin’s biggest recordings and hit songs from the comprehensive Warner Music catalogue, including “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” “Chain of Fools,” “Don’t Play That Song,” “Since You’ve Been Gone” and “Baby I Love You.” Erivo will be performing many of the songs, but there will also be footage from Franklin’s performances of “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me,” “Freeway of Love” and “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves.”
“Aretha Franklin has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little girl,” said Erivo in a statement at the time she was cast. “Her strength, passion and soul are evident in her everlasting legacy, not only as a transcendent artist, but as a humanitarian and civil rights icon. To have the opportunity to bring her legacy to life and show the fullness of her being, her humanity and brilliance, is an honor. What I know and have learned about what my voice, as an artist, can do and the power in it has been highly influenced by Franklin. I feel privileged and excited to be a part of the sharing of her genius.”
“Cynthia Erivo blew me away. Not only is she an incredible and bona fide star, but she is soulful and has tremendous depth as a musical artist,” said executive producer Brian Grazer. “Cynthia is the perfect person to portray the profoundly human story behind the genius that is Aretha.”
Franklin’s niece Sabrina Owens added, “For ‘Genius’ to honor Aretha is a great affirmation of her legacy, and Cynthia Erivo is an extraordinary talent with an amazing voice!”
“The fabulously talented Cynthia Erivo is dream casting to play iconic musical genius Aretha Franklin,” said Carolyn Bernstein, EVP, global scripted content and documentary films, National Geographic. “On the heels of her Tony Award-winning turn in ‘The Color Purple’ and breakout performance in upcoming feature film ‘Harriet,’ we can’t wait to see Cynthia bring her fierceness to the role as the Queen of Soul.”
“Genius: Aretha” airs for eight episodes across four nights, March 21 through March 24, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Nat Geo.