The Federal Communications Commission (that’s the FCC to you and me) is currently investigating the failed Fox game show Our Little Genius to find out whether producers gave potential contestants answers to questions prior to taping episodes.
A parent of one of the children who took part in the quiz show sent a letter to the Commission. The letter alleges that just a few days prior to taping, a staff member from Our Little Genius’s production team reviewed a list of potential topics and gave specific answers to at least four questions (there could be more) the child did not know the answers to or was unsure about.
Our Little Genius — hosted by Kevin Pollak — featured intelligent children who competed for hundreds of thousands of dollars for their families. The show was pulled from Fox’s schedule at the beginning of January at the request of executive producer Mark Burnett.
“I recently discovered that there was an issue with how some information was relayed to contestants during the pre-production of Our Little Genius,” said Burnett in a statement. As a result, I am not comfortable delivering the episodes without re-shooting them. I believe my series must always be beyond reproach, so I have requested that FOX not air these episodes.”
“Even though we were incredibly pleased with the quality of Our Little Genius, we respect and appreciate his due diligence and the decision to pull these episodes,” Fox replied in a statement after Burnett pulled it. “We agree there can be no question about the integrity of our shows.”
According to the Communications Act of 1934, it is illegal for anyone to give, with the intent to deceive the viewing or listening public, assistance that will affect the outcome of a “purportedly bona fide contest of intellectual knowledge or intellectual skill.”
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