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Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein: Nat Geo Channel Releases Super Bowl Spot for ‘Genius’ (Watch)

Variety logo Variety 2/3/2017 Variety Staff
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National Geographic Channel is getting a big sendoff for “Genius” with a promo spot to air in Sunday’s Super Bowl.

The 10-episode limited series from Imagine Television and Fox 21 Television Studios is set to premiere April 25. Geoffrey Rush stars as famed physicist Albert Einstein in the bio-drama based on the biography by Walter Isaacson, “Einstein: His Life and Universe.” The Super Bowl placement underscores the importance of the series to Nat Geo, which is controlled by 21st Century Fox. “Genius” is designed to be a recurring anthology vehicle for Nat Geo, with each season focusing on an influential thinker or innovator.

The spot features Rush playing violin, a favorite pastime of Einstein’s. In a nod to this year’s Super Bowl halftime performer, the music segues from Bach and Mozart to an unusual arrangement of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” The spot will air immediately after the halftime performance, Nat Geo said.

The spot was shot in Prague earlier this week and helmed by Ivan Zachariáš for McCann New York.

“We wanted to create a beautiful commercial that was true to the character of Albert Einstein,” said Eric Silver, McCann’s chief creative officer for North America. “We knew Einstein frequently played violin as a brainstorming technique. The timing of our placement immediately after Lady Gaga’s halftime performance felt like serendipity, giving us the perfect platform to bring the adored physicist to life in a memorable way.”

“Genius” marks one of four spots for Imagine TV-produced series that are getting a Super Bowl berth. Promos for Fox’s “Empire,” “Shots Fired” and “24: Legacy” will be featured during the telecast, while “24: Legacy” will premiere on the heels of the post-game show.

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