Fox is bringing back Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? The network has ordered a new season of the Mark Burnett-produced quiz show, which aired on Fox for three seasons from 2007 til 2009, followed by a two-year syndication run. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, who hosted both the Fox and the syndicated versions, will return as host.
This marks the first unscripted series order since Dana Walden and Gary Newman took oversight of the network in August. It indicates a possible move away from edgy, risque fare like the recently cancelled big-budget Utopia to more family oriented programs, like MasterChef Junior, which has done well for Fox, coming back for a second season this week with top numbers.
As the reality genre on broadcast TV is going through tough times, with very few breakout new formats, the networks increasingly look back, resurrecting proven concepts from the early days of the current wave of reality programming that had produced a lot of hits. For instance, NBC revived both Fear Factor and Last Comic Standing.
“Are You Smarter Than A 5th 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 Fox’s head of alternative Simon Andreae.
Added 5th Grader co-creator/executive producer Burnett,“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. Kids today are smarter than ever and the adults who try to take them on will have an even harder task ahead of them.”
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? tests adults’ lack of knowledge – as revealed by how much they’ve forgotten since their grammar school days as they are quizzed on subjects taken from actual first- through fifth-grade textbooks. The series, whose original run also included celebrity episodes, is produced by United Artists Media Group. MGM will internationally distribute the show and format.