Now that Utopia, The Show That Would Save FOX is no more, SOMETHING has got to fill the gaping hole left in the FOX schedule. So, why not drag back Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, a show that ran on the network for 3 seasons, beginning in 2007.
Produced by Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor) the show tests adults’ knowledge, on subjects like science, math, art and geography–the stuff that most folks learned back in middle school.
How much of that knowledge is forgotten since grammar school days, becomes readily apparent during the course of the competition, as this infamous clip featuring American Idol alum, Kellie Pickler, illustrates. Her famous “I thought Europe was a country” line went as viral as a gaffe possibly could back in the pre-Twitter and Facebook days of 2007.
To be honest, I think she was laying on the country bumpkin schtick a little too thick, and it backfired on her. She was only a year off of Idol and didn’t have a handle on her public persona yet. If you’ve been paying attention, Kellie has come a long way since those days. Now, she still plays it ditzy, but never dumb.
“Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader shares so much DNA with the FOX brand that it feels only natural to return it to the schedule – it’s smart, witty, irreverent and it turns the adult/child power dynamic upside-down,” said Simon Andreae, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Fox Broadcasting Company. “All of the core components of the classic format will be there, but we are also adding new twists that make it fresher and more fun for viewers.”
Hm. Only natural? How about “Only idea we could think of on short notice.”
“I have loved this competition from our first show and the timing couldn’t be better for 5th Grader to return to FOX, as there is nothing like it on television,” added Burnett. “Kids today are smarter than ever and the adults who try to take them on will have an even harder task ahead of them.”
Yes. Kids are SO MUCH SMARTER than they were 5 years ago! Heh.
In the official press release, FOX provided some sample questions. I’ll admit it. I had to cheat to answer the 3rd question. I be dumb at math.
- In what state is the Grand Canyon located?
- What are the names of the first three Presidents?
- Is 17 a prime number or a composite number?
Contestants will have a “lifeline” to help them answer questions, in the form of a panel of precocious 5th graders. The fun comes in the form of adults being humiliated as little kids help them answer the stupidest question. You saw that concept in action in the Kellie Pickler video. No word on when the show will return to the schedule. Comedian, Jeff Foxworthy, is set to return as host.