Just days before its launch, Fox has yanked reality skein “Our Little Genius” from its schedule.
In a statement, “Genius” exec producer Mark Burnett said he asked Fox to pull the show after he discovered “that there was an issue with how some information was relayed to contestants during the pre-production” of the show.
As a result, I am not comfortable delivering the episodes without re-shooting them,” Burnett said. “I believe my series must always be beyond reproach.”
It’s not uncommon for networks to yank reality shows that ultimately triggered red flags — Fox itself has shelved several already-produced series (most recently, “When Women Rule the World”) because of content concerns.
And due to the 1950s quiz show scandals, networks are particularly sensitive when it comes to issues surrounding gamers like “Genius.”
We agree there can be no question about the integrity of our shows,” Fox said in a statement. “While these episodes will not air, the families who participated in the show will receive their winnings.”
After reshooting “Genius,” Fox will decide whether or not to move forward with the show.
In place of “Genius,” which was slated to launch behind a 75-minute edition of “Idol” on Wednesday, “Idol” will run for 90 minutes instead that night. At 9:30 p.m., the net will then repeat the 450th episode of “The Simpsons.”
The following week, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, the time period premiere of “Genius” will be replaced by a repeat of the “Human Target” pilot.
Net hasn’t determined its “Genius” replacements beyond that.
Burnett produces “Our Little Genius” along with Zoo Prods. All eight episodes had already been shot of the show, which pit smart tykes against experts on a given topic. Kevin Pollak hosts.