FOX has pulled its new game show “Our Little Genius” off the air less than a week before its scheduled premiere.
The network and executive producer Mark Burnett don’t say exactly why they made the decision, but statements from both suggest there could have been some questions about what contestants were told going into the show.
“Our Little Genius” was to have premiered Wednesday (Jan. 13) following “American Idol.” Hosted by comedian/actor Kevin Pollak, it would have featured super-smart kids in a “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”-style game, with potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money at stake. The catch is that the player’s parents could stop the game at any time.
Here’s what Burnett had to say about the sudden yanking of the show: “I recently discovered that there was an issue with how some information was relayed to contestants during the pre-production of ‘Our Little Genius.’ As a result, I am not comfortable delivering the episodes without re-shooting them. I believe my series must always be beyond reproach, so I have requested that FOX not air these episodes.”
FOX, for its part, says it’s “incredibly pleased” with teh quality of the show but respects Burnett’s decision. “We agree there can be no question about the integrity of our shows,” the network’s statement reads. “While these episodes will not air, the families who participated in the show will receive their winnings, and we are grateful for their participation.”
To fill the hole in the schedule, FOX will expand Wednesday’s “American Idol” to 90 minutes and repeat 450th episode of “The Simpsons” (which airs Sunday) at 9:30 p.m. A rerun of the “Human Target” pilot will air in “Our Little Genius'” place on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
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