Little frauds: Fox pulls "Genius" quiz show

Thu Jan 7, 2010 11:21pm EST
 
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By James Hibberd and Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - 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.

Hosted by Kevin Pollak, "Genius" features academically accomplished kids ages 6-12 answering tough questions for the chance to win hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"I believe my series must always be beyond reproach, so I have requested that Fox not air these episodes," said Burnett, best known as the creator of "Survivor" and "The Apprentice."

Mark Burnett Prods. will pay to reshoot the episodes, and will also pay the winnings to the contestants who took part in the original eight episodes. No new premiere date was announced.

"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," Fox said in a statement. "We agree there can be no question about the integrity of our shows."

"Genius" was a key piece of Fox's midseason schedule. It was assigned Fox's most lucrative midseason time slot, following "American Idol" on Wednesday.

In the wake of its benching, Fox will air a repeat of the 450th episode of "The Simpsons" after a 90-minute "Idol" on January 13 and a rerun of the premiere of the network's new drama "Human Target" the following Wednesday.