‘Genius: MLK/X’ to Premiere With Back-to-Back Episodes

Genius: MLK/X (Credit: YouTube/National Geographic)

Genius: MLK/X, focusing on the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, now has a premiere date.

The first two episodes of the series will debut on National Geographic channel Feb. 1, 2024, the network announced in a recent press release. Viewers can stream the episodes on Disney+ and Hulu the next day. Two new episodes will debut weekly on all platforms.

The eight-part series will show how King and Malcolm X’s “dueling philosophies helped usher America through the Civil Rights Movement,” per Nat Geo.

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In Sept. 2022, Nat Geo announced Louisiana native Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Godfather of Harlem) would play King and British actor Aaron Pierre (The Underground Railroad) would portray Malcolm X.

Additional cast members include Weruche Opia (I May Destroy You) as Coretta Scott King and Jayme Lawson (The Batman) as Betty Shabazz. The series also marks one of the last roles for Emmy-winning actor Ron Cephas Jones (This is Us), who died in August at age 66.

According to the show’s official description, season 4 of Genius “follows both King and X from their formative years, where they were molded by strong fathers and traumatic injustices, to their rich, parallel stories as they shaped their identities and became the change they wished to see in the world.”

The anthology series dramatizes stories of trailblazing figures throughout history.

Genius premiered in 2017, and starred Geoffrey Rush as scientist Albert Einstein. Season 2 titled Genius: Picasso starred Antonio Banderas as the Spanish painter.

The third season, Genius: Aretha, featured Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin and premiered as the most-watched telecast for National Geographic in two years. Courtney B. Vance won an Image Award in 2022 for playing Franklin’s controversial father, C.L. Franklin.

Season 4 is the first time the show will focus on two individuals.

The series has received multiple Emmy Award nominations, and won two Emmys in 2018 for outstanding cinematography and outstanding sound mixing.

The limited series is produced by Imagine Television Studios, 20th Television, and Undisputed Cinema

Reggie Rock Bythewood and Gina Prince-Bythewood are executive producers for Undisputed Cinema. Additional executive producers include Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and Kristen Zolner for Imagine Television. Raphael Jackson Jr. and Damione Macedon (Power, Mosquito Coast are showrunners and executive producers on season 4.

Attallah Shabazz, eldest daughter of Betty Shabazz and Malcolm X, is a consulting producer.

Watch a making of video from National Geographic below.