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Series / Our Little Genius

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Game Show on FOX hosted by Kevin Pollak and created by Mark Burnett which involved a single child genius answering 10 questions in various categories. The questions were worth $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, $175,000, $250,000, $350,000 and $500,000, with a wrong answer dropping them back to the safety net of $10,000 (assuming they reached that).

The contestant's parents had final say in whether their child continued in the game, with a panel of three experts also present to assist in this decision based on how difficult the remaining questions were.


And when did this air, you ask? It didn't, and chances are it never will.

Genius was scheduled for a 45-minute debut on January 13, 2010 at the best timeslot of all (9:45 PM, right after American Idol) before having a regular hour-long slot on Tuesdays. A few days before its debut, however, Burnett shelved the eight completed shows after hearing that some players may have gotten "information" from his staff; as a result, Idol ran for 90 minutes and a repeat of The Simpsons aired at 9:30.

The show wasn't helped by audience reports that players who missed one of the first four questions were allowed to retry with new questions. Genius was hurt even further when Hollywood Junket witnessed a game where the child said he didn't know the given category and taping was halted; once taping resumed, a new category was given which the child knew. A staffer said that it was a "technical error", and the categories were "mixed up by mistake".

It got worse in late February, when it was revealed that the FCC got a complaint on December 17, 2009 by a parent stating that his child had received a list of potential topics and the answers to at least four questions the child either didn't know or about which he was unsure; when the child said he didn't know the British system of naming musical notes, the staffer gave the names of four specific notes that the child "needed to know" note . The FCC launched an investigation, and the show was permanently shelved.


That's right: 50 years after it was made a felony, Genius had all the hallmarks of a rigged quiz.

Game Show Tropes in use:


This show provides examples of:

  • Child Prodigy: The whole point of the show.
  • Title Drop: Each child's parents were apparently coaxed into dropping "our little genius" wherever they could, which would've become very annoying rather quickly.


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