Quiz Show Scandal? Fox Yanks ‘Our Little Genius’

Wow, that might be the first “Hot From Fox” announcement I’ve received in awhile that really was kinda hot.

The network announced that it’s yanking the kid quiz show “Our Little Genius” because of apparent improprieties surrounding the program. The kids will still get the money, but they’ll have to find some other way to become famous — or humiliated — in front of the world at large. Parenting just keeps getting harder and harder these days, doesn’t it?

I’ve never thought kids and reality are a particularly good mix, and this might confirm it. Either that, or somebody associated with the show was trying to be too clever — and only proved that they’re not smarter than a fifth grader.

What’s this world coming to when you can’t believe in a Fox reality show? And by the way, what’s “Joe Millionaire” and the cast of “Temptation Island” up to these days?

From Fox’s statement:

OUR LITTLE GENIUS” WILL NOT AIR ON FOX AS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED

“Our Little Genius” will not premiere Wednesday, Jan. 13, as previously announced.

Below are statements released today by Mark Burnett and Fox Broadcasting Company.

STATEMENT FROM MARK BURNETT

“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.”

STATEMENT FROM FOX BROADCASTING COMPANY

“Mark Burnett is one of the pre-eminent producers of unscripted programming on television. Even though we were incredibly pleased with the quality of ‘Our Little Genius,’ we respect and appreciate his due diligence and the decision to pull these episodes. We agree there can be no question about the integrity of our shows. While these episodes will not air, the families who participated in the show will receive their winnings, and we are grateful for their participation.”

Whatever happened, the implication is that contestants were fed answers that might have violated the show’s integrity — similar to what transpired in the quiz-show scandal of the 1950s. And given that Fox has already been promoting the show, that’s a very expensive decision.

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