'TV's Top 5': How 'Genius' Captured the Legendary Aretha Franklin

Cynthia Erivo in Genius Aretha
National Geographic/Richard DuCree

Welcome to Episode 112 of TV's Top 5, The Hollywood Reporter's TV podcast.

Every week, hosts Lesley Goldberg (West Coast TV editor) and Daniel Fienberg (chief TV critic) break down the latest TV news with context from the business and critical sides, welcome showrunners, executive and other guests, and provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).

This week's five topics are:

1. The Snyder Cut arrives.
Aaron Couch, the editor of THR's Heat Vision blog, joins the show this week to discuss how the four-hour Zack Snyder cut of Justice League compares, what it means for fan service and how it could prompt another DC franchise.

2. Mailbag!
We asked for listener questions and boy did you deliver! The topics we explore include the future of Grey's Anatomy, ViacomCBS' confusing streaming services and the future of sports on linear television. If you have a question you'd like to hear Dan and I discuss on a future episode, email us at TVsTop5@thr.com.

3. Quarantine, a year later.
It's official: TV's Top 5 has been recording in quarantine for the last year. As we look back at the  year that completely upended the TV industry, we also answer some pandemic-related listener questions in this themed Mailbag segment that looks at the shows that broke through because everyone was stuck at home and how what we watch has evolved given the state of the world.

4. Showrunner Spotlight.
Suzan-Lori Parks, the showrunner behind the third season of Nat Geo anthology Genius: Aretha, joins us this week to discuss how she worked with the Queen of Soul's estate, casting Cynthia Erivo and why some of the legendary singer's biggest hits ("Respect" to name one) are MIA from the scripted series.

5. Critic's Corner.

As usual, every episode ends with Dan's guide to what to watch (or skip) in the week ahead. This week, he offers reviews of Disney+'s Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Nat Geo's Genius: Aretha, Apple's Calls, HBO's Q: Into the Storm and the new Netflix series Country Comfort, starring his beloved Kat McPhee.

Hear it all now on TV's Top 5. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. (Reviews welcome!) You can also email us with any topics or Mailbag questions you'd like to be addressed in future episodes at TVsTop5@THR.com.

Coming next week: We are joined by Falcon and Winter Soldier head writer Malcolm Spellman for a Showrunner Spotlight interview.