The new NBC game show gives children twelve years old and under the chance to show off their remarkable intelligence and compete for a grant.



Genius Junior host Neil Patrick Harris
March 31, 2017

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA — No stranger to young geniuses, Neil Patrick Harris hosts NBC's exciting new game show "Genius Junior," which celebrates the brightest children in America.

The average adult relies on Google maps to get them to their destination, their calculator for simple math problems and auto-correct for spelling errors. However, what if they had to memorize the entire U.S. highway system, do mind-bending math equations or spell incredibly complex words — backwards — all on their own? What if they had to do this against the clock? And what if they were all twelve years old and under?

"Genius Junior" is the ultimate test of smarts. Twelve teams of the most incredible children in the country will compete to be crowned Genius Junior. Over five grueling rounds, with each round tougher than the last, teams of three children will have to work together to beat the competition. It's not enough to win a spelling bee, be a mathlete or even a memory champion — to win "Genius Junior" you have to be brilliant at everything.

The winning team will take home the Genius Junior Grant that will set the stage for a big and bright future ahead.

"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."

"Tackling incredibly tough and fast-paced challenges, these amazing child prodigies will leave us entertained and awestruck," said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Reality Group, 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."

"Watching these amazing genius children solve problems that most adults would find impossible is absolutely riveting," said Mike Darnell, President of Warner Bros. Unscripted and Alternative Television. "Add in the super smart and multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris ... and it's a no-brainer that this show is going to work."

"Genius Junior" host Neil Patrick Harris currently stars as Count Olaf in Netflix's series adaptation of "A Series of Unfortunate Events."

Harris is a five-time Emmy Award winner for hosting four Tony Awards telecasts and his guest-starring role on "Glee." He also served as host and producer of two Emmy Award telecasts. Additionally, Harris served as the host of the 87th Oscars in 2015.

Harris appeared as the beloved character Barney Stinson in the hit CBS comedy series "How I Met Your Mother," a role which garnered him multiple Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations, as well as two People's Choice Awards and a Critics' Choice Award. Other TV credits include "Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris," "Stark Raving Mad," "American Horror Story," "Glee" and, famously, "Doogie Howser, M.D."

Under the direction of two-time Oscar nominee David Fincher, Harris starred in the 2014 film "Gone Girl." His other movie credits include "A Million Ways to Die in the West," "The Smurfs" franchise, and "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle."

A veteran of the theater, Harris originated the role of Hedwig in the Tony-winning Broadway production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," which earned him Tony, Drama League and Drama Desk awards. He made his musical directorial debut with the Hollywood Bowl's staging of Jonathan Larson's "Rent."

He will soon be releasing a new middle grade fiction series, "The Magic Misfits," in 2017.

"Genius Junior" is produced by Shed Media. The series is executive produced by Neil Patrick Harris, Pam Healey, John Hesling, Phil Parsons and Ed Egan.