The competition series “America’s Smartest,” which presents challenges to contestants such as building a smarter car or improving classrooms, has been ordered by Discovery Channel, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The show will debut in April 2015 and mixes elements of “Mr. Wizard,” “Shark Tank” and “College Bowl,” the story adds. The show was developed from a comment from Mandalay Entertainment Group Chairman Peter Gruber, who had returned from a trip to Japan and talked about how engineers at Sony were creating technology that they then applied to products.
Executive producer Michael Sardo said Gruber noted, ‘They’ve got a bunch of people dreaming up cool products. Then when they have something they want to take to market, they give it to the engineers and say, ‘Figure out how to make this work.’”
“This show is a mashup between people with enormous ingenuity and imagination mashed up with filmmaking and storytelling,” David Zelon, who is also executive producing. “The show is a ‘what if’ show, not a ‘how to’ show, meaning ‘what if this could really work?’ Not ‘this is how we can build something that can work.’ ”
The piece adds: “The contestants will be chosen for their story and background. So when the challenge is to improve emergency rooms, it could be a former E.R. doctor or a family member of someone who almost died because of what happened in an emergency room.”