In the show, twelve teams of three children each will compete to be crowned Genius Junior. Over five rounds the teams will have to work together to complete a number of challenges testing their knowledge on a wide range of subjects. The winning team will take home the Genius Junior Grant.
“I’m thrilled to be part of a project that shines a light on extraordinary children and challenges viewers to exercise their own minds,” Harris said. “NBC is a great home for ‘Genius Junior.’ Plus, the contestants are kids, so they’re destined to be hilarious or, you know, snap. Win/win. I kid. #pun.”
The announcement of the new series comes after Harris hosted the live variety show “Best Time Ever” on NBC, which was canceled after one season. However, as Variety previously reported, Harris and the network were committed to working together on new projects through NBC’s deal with Harris’ Prediction Productions. He is a five-time Emmy Award winner for hosting four Tony Awards telecasts and his guest-starring role on “Glee.” He is best known for his role as Barney Stinson on the popular sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” his self-spoofing role in the comedy film “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” and his childhood starring role in the series “Doogie Howser M.D.”
“Tackling incredibly tough and fast-paced challenges, these amazing child prodigies will leave us entertained and awestruck,” said Paul Telegdy, president of the alternative and reality group for NBC Entertainment. “We are thrilled to have Neil as our host. His quick wit and charm are perfectly suited to keep up with the unpredictability that is sure to ensue.”
“Genius Junior” is produced by Shed Media. Harris, Pam Healey, John Hesling, Phil Parsons and Ed Egan serve as executive producers.