Even in those glorious days of the early aughts, when swimming in denim while on TRL was the epitome of glamor, it was totally reasonable to believe budding entrepreneur and Beyonce accessory Jay-Z would one day have his own show but, on Nat Geo? Who'd have thought?!
Yet here we are. The network announced at its upfronts presentation Wednesday -- the same day that onetime nemesis Bill O'Reilly got canned, if you're in need of serious 'truth is stranger than fiction' news today -- that it's picked up the new six-episode docuseries Race, which he executive produced. Jay Z's show will explore the racial injustice in America with a combination of documentary, animation and archival footage, the description says. That announcement comes just months after the documentary he produced, The Kalief Browder Story, won rave reviews at Sundance and aired on Spike TV in March.
Nat Geo also announced the renewal of Genius, the Ron Howard and Brian Grazer-produced series that, in its first season beginning April 25, presents a flashy, provocative portrayal of Albert Einstein's life. The subject of next season's Genius, which focuses on a historical figure who changed the world with his or her brainpower, will be announced on the Season 1 finale June 20.
The network announced a slate of other programs too, including The Birth of the Pill, a scripted tale about the fight to make birth control available for women; The Hot Zone, an adaptation of the book about a viral outbreak in the suburbs of Washington D.C.; and an untitled documentary series about global leaders from Katie Couric set to debut in 2018. This documentary follows her doc Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric that aired earlier this year.