Cynthia Erivo
Cynthia Erivo
(Photo by Leon Bennett/Stringer)

'Genius: Aretha' Series Starring Cynthia Erivo Premiere Date Delayed due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Cynthia Erivo (Photo by Leon Bennett/Stringer)

The highly anticipated series has reportedly halted production.

The premiere date of Genius: Aretha, the anthology series created to honor the life of Aretha Franklin has reportedly been delayed. The third installment has been affected as the nation has become shutting down amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to Variety, the anthology series starring Broadway star Cynthia Erivo as Franklin was slated to air on Memorial Day, May 25. Yet, due to the ongoing pandemic, production has been halted. The project was still in the works when concerns about the deadly virus arose. The Hollywood Reporter notes that production ended on March 13, the same date that many other shows followed suit. 

With production currently suspended, the network shared the following statement:

"We look forward to resuming works as soon as is possible and safe, and at that time will announce a new premiere date for later this year. We cannot wait to let Aretha’s voice sing, and in the words of the Queen herself, ‘Being the Queen is not all about singing, and being a diva is not all about singing. It has much to do with your service to people. And your social contributions to your community and your civic contributions as well.’ In that spirit, we wish all of our viewers well in these challenging times, particularly those who are working in our communities to keep us all safe."

Variety’s report points out that Genius: Aretha joins shows like FX’s Fargo and HBO’s The Undoing who have also pushed their premiere dates in the wake of coronavirus. The series will no longer be eligible for the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in September as the eligibility deadline is May 31, 2020.