National Geographic announced its spring lineup of programming at the Television Critics Association press tour Sunday, while also revealing more details about projects previously announced and in the works.
The biggest news was that National Geographic has greenlit The Right Stuff an adaptation of Tom Wolfe's best-selling nonfiction book about the early days of the U.S. space program that has Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson as executive producers and Mark Lafferty (Castle Rock, Halt and Catch Fire) as showrunner. David Nutter, known for directing numerous high-profile pilots as well as a few episodes of Game of Thrones (including Season 3's penultimate episode featuring the infamous Red Wedding) will direct The Right Stuff pilot. Production on the series begins in fall, with the first season taking place at the height of the Cold War in 1958, when the Soviets are dominating the space race. Seven people, called the Mercury Seven, get recruited from obscurity and fashioned into heroes -- among them John Glenn and Alan Shepard. jockeying to be the first in space.
Elsewhere, National Geographic also announced that the next season of Genius, which will be devoted to the life of Aretha Franklin, will have Suzan-Lori Parks as executive producer and showrunner. The playwright, who won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2002 for her play Topdog/Underdog, willlead the story of how Franklin, a musical prodigy, learned to play the piano by ear at a very young age and went on to become one of the greatest recording artists of all time.
Nat Geo also announced that David Slade, who directed Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, will direct the pilot and executive produce for Barkskins, a series based on the novel of the same name from Annie Proulx that tells the story of immigrants moving to New France, and spanning 300 years as Europeans colonize and settle a new world up until the contemporary era of global warming.
Free Solo: March 3 at 9/8cThe Story of God with Morgan Freeman: March 5 at 9/8cHostile Planet: April 1 at 9/8cScience Fair: May 9 at 8/7cThe Hot Zone: May 27-29 at 9/8cGoing Viral: May 2019Yellowstone Live: June 2019Apollo: Mission to the Moon: July 2019