No one is better or more in-your-face at one-upping and lampooning network reality shows than Mike Darnell, the twisted master of reality at Fox. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire became Who Wants To Marry A Multi-Millionaire, Dancing with The Stars became Skating with Celebrities (there are lots more, but you get the picture). And now, days after CBS has announced it’s prepping an adults vs. kid geniuses quiz show, Darnell has teamed up with the classiest reality producer of all–and is beating them to the punch by putting the Fox version on the fast track.
The title alone helps pull Darnell out of the OJ Simpson: Here’s How I Killed My Wife cesspool that he was dragged back into by corporate synergy and make people remember he’s the one who shepherded American Idol:
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
Working with Survivor‘s Mark Burnett, Darnell and Fox have brought the hifalutin concept down to a level we can all relate to. The show will feature one average adult and about five average fifth grade kids on a classroom set. The contestant will start out with $100,000, and gamble by answering a series of general knowledge questions that come from textbooks for fifth graders–and below.
The kids won’t be competing , but will be there to be used as lifelines–and as comic relief.
With the right bets, a player could win more than a million dollars.
Fox has ordered eight episodes and they’re really moving quickly. They may tape the shows over the holiday break, to be ready for air by January. Now, this is a show we’ll be playing at home.