Neil Patrick Harris, Photo by David Shankbone [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Neil Patrick Harris, Photo by David Shankbone [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Smart brats were the focus of a national broadcast hit 77 years ago for NBC, so the peacock network has dusted off that idea and will give the format a modern try with a new show called “Genius Junior.”

And who better to host the show than Neil Patrick Harris, the actor who rose to stardom as a kind of “genius junior” character of his own when he was a medical prodigy on “Doogie Howser, M.D.” on the hit ABC comedy from 1989 to 1993.

The first take on the “brilliant children are entertaining” idea was with “Quiz Kids,” a radio and later TV series that was first broadcast on NBC radio in 1940. It was a radio staple for the next 13 years and began a TV run in the early days of the small screen in 1949.

In the newest version, NBC has given a 10-episode order for the prime-time game show “Genius Junior” that officials say will feature some of the nation’s smartest children.

NBC bills “Genius Junior” as “the ultimate test of smarts,” with 12 three-person teams of children 12 years old and under competing for five rounds by answering a series of increasingly tough questions. The winning team will receive the Genius Junior Grant “that will set the stage for a big and bright future ahead,” according to NBC.

A premiere date was not announced.

— Staff and wire reports

 

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