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Fox yanks 'Our Little Genius' game show due to "integrity" issues


By Christopher Rocchio, 01/08/2010 

Fox has announced that it has pulled Our Little Genius from its programming schedule less than a week before the Mark Burnett-produced game show was slated to premiere.

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"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," said Burnett in a Thursday statement.

"I believe my series must always be beyond reproach, so I have requested that Fox not air these episodes."

Our Little Genius, which challenges child geniuses with difficult questions for an opportunity to win money for their families, was originally scheduled to premiere January 13 at 9:15PM ET/PT following an American Idol ninth-season audition episode.

The American Idol audition episode will now run 90 minutes and be followed by a repeat broadcast of The Simpsons' 450th episode. Our Little Genius was then scheduled to premiere in its regular Tuesday at 9PM ET/PT timeslot on January 19, however that will now be filled by a repeat of Fox's new Human Target series.

Additional scheduling information will be announced soon, according to Fox.

"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," said the network in a statement.

"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."

The game show -- which is hosted by comedian Kevin Pollack -- follows children from 6- to 12-years-old as they answer increasingly difficult questions in their area of expertise in an attempt to win their family hundreds of thousands of dollars.

However the child's parents can stop the game at any time and instead choose to walk away with the winnings up to that point. To help aid the adults' decision, they will be allowed to check with a panel of experts including professors, doctors and scientists.

Fox ordered Our Little Genius in November.

In a shocking move, Fox on Thursday pulled the quiz show "Our Little Genius" less than a week before the series' January 13 premiere to do reshoots.

At the heart of the matter was a recent discovery by producer Mark Burnett that some contestants were provided "information" -- though not the actual answers -- ahead of time.



(Photo credit Fox)


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