King of the Nerds

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King of the Nerds
KingoftheNerdsLogo.png
Genre Reality competition
Comedy
Presented by Robert Carradine
Curtis Armstrong
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 24
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Anthony Carbone
  • Ben Silverman
  • Charles Wachter
  • Christopher Grant
  • Corie Henson
  • Craig Armstrong
  • Curtis Armstrong
  • Rick Ringbakk
  • Robert Carradine
Running time 40 to 43 minutes
Production company(s)
Broadcast
Original channel TBS
Picture format 1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Original run January 17, 2013 (2013-01-17) – present
External links
Website

King of the Nerds is an American reality competition series co-produced by Electus and 5x5 Media. It is based on the Revenge of the Nerds films. The show is hosted by actors and executive producers Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong, known for their roles as Lewis Skolnick and Dudley "Booger" Dawson, respectively, in Revenge of the Nerds. The series premiered on January 17, 2013, on TBS.[1] The show features nerds and geeks with diverse backgrounds and interests competing in various challenges for a cash prize of $100,000 (USD) and the title of "King of the Nerds".

The series was renewed for an eight-episode third season, which premiered on January 23, 2015.[2][3] In addition, British Sky Broadcasting channel Sky 1 ordered a UK version of King of the Nerds, slated for broadcast in the United Kingdom in 2015.[4]

Premise[edit]

King of the Nerds follows contestants as they compete in challenges testing their intellect, ingenuity, skills, and pop-culture knowledge in order to win a $100,000 prize and to be crowned "the greatest nerd of them all," worthy to sit atop the "Throne of Games" (a reference to the television series Game of Thrones). The contestants live together in one house, called "Nerdvana", competing as teams before moving on to individual challenges.[5]

The show uses a progressive elimination format. The contestants are initially separated into two teams. In each episode, the contestants compete in a team challenge called the "Nerd War". The winners of the Nerd War are granted immunity from elimination and typically receive a reward for their victory. Two players from the losing team are then selected to compete in a head-to-head elimination challenge called the "Nerd-Off"; one player is selected by vote from the losing team, while the other is selected by vote from the winning team. The loser of the Nerd-Off is eliminated from the competition. Upon reaching the penultimate episode, the teams are officially disbanded.

The series has utilized different finale formats over its first two seasons. In the first season, the eliminated competitors returned as a jury to vote for the winner of the competition. However, in response to controversy over the use of a popularity contest, the winner from the second season onward was determined through challenges rather than popular vote.[6]

Development and production[edit]

The concept for a reality television show based on Revenge of the Nerds was originally pitched by Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine in the mid-2000s.[7] However, the idea gained little traction at the time, owing to the then-running reality television program Beauty and the Geek.[7] According to Armstrong, networks felt that having "two nerd shows would be a drag on the market."[7] After roughly six years passed, Armstrong and Carradine decided to pitch the show again, and were met with more immediate responses.[7]

After finding ratings success with its syndicated reruns of The Big Bang Theory, TBS green-lit King of the Nerds in March 2012, its first unscripted competition series in seven years.[5] The show was shot on the campus of Ambassador College in Pasadena, California.[8] To promote the new series, contestant Celeste Anderson appeared on the February 12, 2013 episode of Conan.[9]

TBS ordered a second season of King of the Nerds in February 2013.[10][11] It was filmed at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, after the production staff were unable to secure the location from the previous year.[12][13] Season 2 premiered on January 23, 2014.[14]

Preliminary casting for a potential third season began in April 2014.[15][16] In June 2014, TBS formally announced the show's renewal.[2] Filming, once again taking place at Occidental College, began in late July 2014 and concluded in early August.[17][18] In promotion of Season 3, TBS partnered with Twitch for a preview screening of the season's first episode and a chat session with hosts Armstrong and Carradine on January 16, 2015, marking Twitch's first live television viewing event.[19][20]

The People's Nerd[edit]

On April 24, 2013, TBS announced that they were holding a contest for the public to select one of the Season 2 cast members called "The People's Nerd".[21] The contest ran simultaneously with regular casting and had people submit videos to the King of the Nerds Facebook page.[21] The candidates were voted on by the public until one person was chosen to compete. On October 9, 2013, Josh "JWittz" Wittenkeller, a YouTube personality who posts Nintendo-related content, was announced to be the winner of the contest and crowned The People's Nerd.[22]

Season 1 (2013)[edit]

Contestants[edit]

Name Hometown Age Specialty Rank
Celeste Anderson[23] Orillia, Ontario 22 Pro gamer 1st
Genevieve Pearson[24] Tacoma, Washington 27 Fantasy writer 2nd
Danielle Mackey[25] Rome, New York 23 Video game blogger 3rd
Ivan Van Norman[26] Los Angeles, California 27 Role-playing game designer 4th
Moogega Cooper[26] Pasadena, California 26 NASA engineer 5th
Virgil Griffith[26] Pasadena, California 28 Master hacker 6th
Joshua Ovenshire[26] Los Angeles, California 24 Comics & gaming nerd 7th
Alana Smith-Brown[27] Corning, New York 26 Comic book nerd 8th
Brandon Moore[28] Heath, Texas 24 Neuroscientist 9th
Jon Paprocki[29] Atlanta, Georgia 22 Mathematician 10th
Hеndrik Lеnfеrink[30] Little Deer Isle, Maine 26 Geophysicist 11th

Contestant progress[edit]

Contestant Episode
1 2 3 4 5 6 72 8
Celeste IN IN WIN IN WIN IN IN IN WIN WINNER
Genevieve IN IN WIN RISK WIN RISK RISK IN WIN RUNNER-UP
Danielle WIN WIN RISK WIN IN WIN WIN WIN OUT3
Ivan WIN WIN IN WIN RISK WIN IN OUT3
Moogega WIN WIN IN WIN IN WIN OUT
Virgil IN IN WIN IN WIN OUT
Joshua WIN WIN IN WIN OUT
Alana IN1 RISK WIN OUT
Brandon WIN WIN OUT
Jon RISK OUT
Hеndrik OUT

^Note 1 : Alana received individual immunity from being sent to the Nerd-Off.
^Note 2 : Teams were dissolved and Nerd Wars became individual challenges.
^Note 3 : The final Nerd War was separated into two phases; in each phase, the loser was automatically eliminated.

Key
     (WINNER) The contestant won the competition and was crowned "King of the Nerds".
     (RUNNER-UP) The contestant was the runner-up in the competition.
     (WIN) The contestant won the Nerd War and received immunity from elimination.
     (IN) The contestant lost the Nerd War, but was not selected to compete in the Nerd-Off.
     (RISK) The contestant won the Nerd-Off and escaped elimination.
     (OUT) The contestant lost the Nerd-Off and was eliminated from the competition.
Teams
     The contestant was a member of Team Blextrophy.
     The contestant was a member of Team Servants of the Forsaken Orb.

Episodes[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(millions)
1 1 "Welcome to Nerdvana" January 17, 2013 (2013-01-17) 1.99[31]
  • Nerd War: Two players are randomly selected as captains to initiate a schoolyard pick to separate the remaining players into teams, with one player left over. As "nothing is nerdier than getting picked last", this player is considered the winner, gaining immunity from the Nerd-Off, selecting the winning team, and subsequently joining the losing team.
  • Nerd-Off: Two players face off in a chess match on a life-size board, with the loser being sent home.
2 2 "Imaginary Realms" January 24, 2013 (2013-01-24) 1.65[32]
  • Nerd War: The teams are challenged to a cosplay competition, requiring them to develop a coherent mythology and appearance for the given themes (villains from a fantasy setting, and heroes from a science fiction setting). The teams are judged by actor and author George Takei, costume designer and professional cosplayer Yaya Han, and actor Adam Busch.
    • Reward: The winners train with a world-renowned swords-mistress and are given a Little Caesars pizza lunch.
  • Nerd-Off: Two contestants compete in a trivia challenge involving fictional settings. Each correct answer earns the player the chance to roll an oversized die down a hill towards a series of targets worth various point values, with points being awarded for each target knocked over. The player with the lowest score is eliminated.
3 3 "Games without Frontiers" January 31, 2013 (2013-01-31) 1.57[33]
  • Nerd War: The teams are tasked with navigating tablet-controlled quadcopters through an obstacle course, with various obstacles worth varying point values. While one team attempts to fly the quadcopter, the opposing team has the opportunity to shoot it down with Nerf guns, which counts against the controlling team. After both teams complete the timed run, the team with the highest score is declared the winner.
  • Nerd-Off: Two nerds steer remote-controlled golf carts to push exercise balls into marked goals. The player that successfully scores two goals first is declared the winner.
4 4 "Supernerds" February 7, 2013 (2013-02-07) 1.48[34]
  • Nerd War: The teams face off in a debate about superheroes judged by University of Southern California debate director Gordon Stables and actors Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes.
  • Nerd-Off: Two contestants battle in a trivia contest about superheroes. Each correct answer allows them to break through one of four walls. The first player to answer four questions correctly and subsequently break all four walls is safe from elimination.
5 5 "High IQ's" February 14, 2013 (2013-02-14) 1.23[35]
  • Nerd War: The teams assemble a giant Rubik's Cube puzzle with numbers on various faces. Once the puzzle is complete, they must transfer the numbers to specific spaces in a Sudoku puzzle. The first team to complete the Sudoku puzzle is declared the winner.
  • Nerd-Off: Two players compete in a variation of the memory game Concentration, matching pairs of objects until no more pairs are possible. The player with the most matches wins.
6 6 "Nerdy Dancing" February 21, 2013 (2013-02-21) 1.05[36]
  • Nerd War: The teams are tasked with creating "nerd anthems". The contestants work with Jingle Jarod to record their songs, and with Lauren Gottlieb and Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo of So You Think You Can Dance to learn their choreography. The teams' songs are judged by Garfunkel and Oates and MC Frontalot.
    • Reward: The winners earn an afternoon at Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park.
  • Nerd-Off: Two nerds compete in a dance battle using the video game Dance Central 3. The player with the most points is named the winner.
    • Note: Following the Nerd-Off, teams are officially dissolved and subsequent Nerd Wars become individual challenges.
7 7 "Enginerds" February 28, 2013 (2013-02-28) 1.49[37]
  • Nerd War: The players are given several examples of how many panes of glass are broken by various falling objects in a vertical array, and are told to use math and physics to estimate how many panes of glass will be broken in several other configurations given data like object weight and glass thickness. Each of these tests are then performed, and players are penalized for the difference in the actual panes broken versus their estimate. The player with the lowest overall penalty is declared the winner.
  • Nerd-Off: Two players are given a large number of nerd-related objects, such as books, video game consoles, and Rubik's Cubes, and challenged to build the tallest free-standing tower in a fixed amount of time. Each player is given a Nerf gun with limited ammo to attempt to knock over the other player's tower. In the end, the player with the tallest structure is safe from elimination.
8 8 "The King Is Crowned" March 7, 2013 (2013-03-07) 1.54[38]
  • Nerd War: In the first phase, the four remaining nerds race on Segways through a maze. The last player to finish is eliminated from the competition.
  • Nerd War: In the second phase, the final three players compete in a quiz bowl based on various nerd topics. The first two contestants to answer five questions correctly move on to the final Nerd-Off.
  • Nerd-Off: The eliminated contestants return to vote on which of the final two competitors should be crowned "King of the Nerds". The two finalists are given the opportunity, overnight, to convince the others to vote for them. The results are revealed after all votes had been placed, and the winner is named.

Season 2 (2014)[edit]

Contestants[edit]

Name Hometown Age Specialty Rank
Kayla LaFrance[39] Spokane, Washington 26 Rocket scientist 1st
Jack Hou[40] Ames, Iowa 24 Bioengineer 2nd
Brian Davidson[40] Denver, Colorado 26 Historian 3rd/4th
Xander Jeanneret[41] Freedom, Wisconsin 26 Gamer 3rd/4th
Zachary "Zack" Storch[42] Minneapolis, Minnesota 21 Fantasy writer 5th
Chris Jackson[43] Waco, Texas 27 Mechanical engineer 6th
Katie Correll[43] Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 23 Roboticist 7th
Nicole Evans[12] Milwaukee, Wisconsin 28 Inorganic chemist 8th
Mary Kate Smith[44] Starkville, Mississippi 23 Aerospace student 9th
Josh Wittenkeller[22][45] Grayslake, Illinois 22 Pokémon Master 10th
Kelsey Syers[46] Canton, Georgia 23 Japanophile 11th

Contestant progress[edit]

Contestant Episode
1 2 3 4 5 6 75 8
Kayla IN WIN WIN WIN WIN IN WIN WIN WINNER
Jack WIN IN IN IN RISK WIN RISK WIN RUNNER-UP
Brian IN WIN WIN WIN WIN RISK IN OUT6
Xander IN WIN WIN WIN WIN IN IN OUT6
Zack WIN RISK RISK RISK IN WIN OUT
Chris RISK WIN WIN WIN WIN OUT
Katie IN WIN WIN IN4 OUT
Nicole WIN IN IN OUT
Mary Kate WIN IN OUT
Josh WIN OUT
Kelsey OUT

^Note 4 : Katie was switched from Team Titans of Rigel to Team Midas Touch Attack.
^Note 5 : Teams were dissolved and Nerd Wars became individual challenges.
^Note 6 : The losers of the final Nerd War were automatically eliminated.

Key
     (WINNER) The contestant won the competition and was crowned "King of the Nerds".
     (RUNNER-UP) The contestant was the runner-up in the competition.
     (WIN) The contestant won the Nerd War and received immunity from elimination.
     (IN) The contestant lost the Nerd War, but was not selected to compete in the Nerd-Off.
     (RISK) The contestant won the Nerd-Off and escaped elimination.
     (OUT) The contestant lost the Nerd-Off and was eliminated from the competition.
Teams
     The contestant was a member of Team Titans of Rigel.
     The contestant was a member of Team Midas Touch Attack.

Episodes[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(millions)
9 1 "In Search of a King" January 23, 2014 (2014-01-23) 1.03[47]
  • Nerd War: Similar to the previous season, two players are randomly selected as captains to initiate a schoolyard pick to separate the contestants into teams, with one player left over. The unpicked player is given the power to eliminate another contestant from the competition and take their spot. Once selected, it is revealed that "being kicked out by somebody who wasn't even on a team" is nerdier than not being picked, and the nearly-ousted contestant is declared the "nerdiest of all nerds". This contestant joins the team of their choice, winning the challenge for their team, and sends another contestant to join the losing team.
  • Nerd-Off: Two players compete in a game of "Nerdditch". After correctly answering a fantasy-themed question, the players are given the chance to ride a flying broomstick down a course and throw potion vials into cauldrons of varying point value. The contestant with the highest score at the end of five rounds is safe from elimination.
10 2 "Weird...Science?" January 30, 2014 (2014-01-30) 1.38[48]
  • Nerd War: The teams present working model volcanos at the King of the Nerds Science Fair. The teams' performances are evaluated on the soundness of their science, their chemical reactions, and the creativity of their presentations by a judging panel consisting of science educator Bill Nye, 2011 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair winner Blake Marggraff, and The Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik.
    • Reward: The winners get to spend one-on-one time with Bill Nye.
  • Nerd-Off: Two contestants are tested on their knowledge of anatomy in an alien autopsy challenge. As the hosts describe the function of a human organ, the players race to extract its alien equivalent from their respective cadavers. The first person to score three points is declared the winner.
11 3 "To LARP or Not to LARP" February 6, 2014 (2014-02-06) 0.97[49]
  • Nerd War: The teams are challenged to a live action role-playing competition, requiring them to incorporate the same four characters into their performances: a warrior, a spell singer, a bard, and a monk. Each team must build costumes, create mythologies, and showcase their LARP in front of several judges, including actor Kevin Sorbo, cosplayer Yaya Han, and Napoleon Dynamite star Jon Heder.
    • Reward: The winning team enjoys an interactive dinner show at Pirate's Dinner Adventure.
  • Nerd-Off: Two nerds compete in a turn-based, strategy game called "BattleHammer". Each competitor is allowed to select an aide-de-camp from either team. The game begins with each player secretly placing 23 units on a grid according to their designated starting configurations, similar to Battleship. Each turn, the contestants roll a die to determine the number of moves they can make; they can then choose to either defend by moving their individual units, or attack by guessing the positions of their opponent's units. The game ends when a player loses all of their units.
12 4 "Ready, Set, Robot Dodgeball" February 13, 2014 (2014-02-13) 0.97[50]
  • Nerd War: Each team is required to build four robots to battle in a game of dodgeball. The robots are first judged on their creativity and execution by Matt Winston, co-founder of the Stan Winston School of Character Arts. The team with the robots deemed the least impressive loses one of them for the challenge. During the dodgeball portion, one team maneuvers their robots around the court while the other team attempts to tag them out by throwing dodgeballs. The team with the fastest overall time after four rounds wins.
    • Reward: Each member of the winning team earns $1,000 worth of RadioShack gear.
  • Nerd-Off: Two contestants face off in a zombified version of KerPlunk. The players take turns pulling out large wooden stakes, dropping body parts to the zombies below. The first player to accidentally release 150 body parts to the zombies is eliminated from the competition.
13 5 "Trek Wars" February 20, 2014 (2014-02-20) 0.93[51]
  • Nerd War: Three members from each team compete in a debate about Star Wars vs. Star Trek, judged by University of Southern California debate director Gordon Stables, comedian Kumail Nanjiani, and actor Billy Dee Williams. The team that successfully defends two out of three topics wins.
  • Nerd-Off: Two contestants' vocabulary and spelling skills are tested in a spelling bee competition. The hosts read off definitions of words prevalent in the "nerd universe". The first person to hit their buzzer must identify the word and spell it. Every correct answer earns the player one point, while every incorrect answer gives the opponent one point. In addition, the two nerds competing must select two other contestants to receive an electric shock for every incorrect answer. The first player to reach five points is safe from elimination.
14 6 "Nerds to the Rescue" February 27, 2014 (2014-02-27) 0.95[52]
  • Nerd War: Two members from each team are tasked with navigating a laser maze to save guest star George Takei. One contestant must verbally guide their teammate, who is unable to see the lasers due to their spectrum-blocking goggles, through the maze. Once past the maze, the teams are required to answer a math question in order to unlock Takei's cell. The teams suffer a one-minute time delay for every tripped laser, in which the contestants must remain frozen in place. Every incorrect answer to the math problem incurs a 30-second time penalty. The team that successfully frees Takei from his cell wins.
    • Reward: The winning team visits the special effects studio Legacy Effects.
  • Nerd-Off: Two nerds battle in an intergalactic target shooting challenge. The players must first answer science fiction-related trivia questions; for every correct answer, the players earn 40 rounds of ammo to shoot down as many spaceship targets of varying point value as possible. The nerd with the highest score after six rounds is declared the winner.
    • Note: Following the Nerd-Off, teams are officially dissolved and subsequent Nerd Wars become individual challenges.
15 7 "Angry Nerds" March 6, 2014 (2014-03-06) 1.02[53]
  • Nerd War: The contestants compete in a kart racing challenge inspired by Tron and Mario Kart. The players are awarded points based on their placement in the race. In addition, the players can drive over bonus stars that are randomly lit around the race track in order to receive bonus points. The contestant with the highest score after twelve laps wins.
  • Nerd-Off: Two nerds compete in a real-life game of Angry Birds. The players must first build miniature structures which, when scaled up to life-sized proportions, can withstand a barrage of projectiles. Once the structures have been built up to scale, the players take turns shooting at each other's creations using air cannons. The first person to knock down three balls from their opponent's structure wins.
16 8 "One Nerd to Rule Them All" March 13, 2014 (2014-03-13) 0.96[54]
  • Nerd War: The contestants compete in a quiz bowl based on various nerd topics. The first two competitors to answer five questions correctly earn a spot in the final Nerd-Off.
  • Nerd-Off: The final two nerds compete in the "Nerdliminator", a gauntlet of eight "mental games" consisting of a mathematical puzzle, string puzzle, sliding puzzle, logic puzzle, Sudoku, cryptogram, word search, and Pac-Man. The finalists must petition the banished nerds to pledge their allegiance towards them; the eliminated contestants then choose which finalist to help during the challenge. The players have 20 minutes to complete as many games as possible, and may call for help from their supporters a total of three times. In the end, the player with the most correct answers is crowned "King of the Nerds".

Season 3 (2015)[edit]

Contestants[edit]

Name Hometown Age Specialty Rank
Amanda Liston[55] Gilbert, Arizona 25 Bookworm TBA
Ben Tully[56] Los Angeles, California 29 Marine biologist TBA
Jonathan Adler[57] Tempe, Arizona 28 Mathematician TBA
Kaitlin Spak[58] Redwood City, California 26 NASA engineer TBA
Lily Rutledge-Ellison[59] Denver, Colorado 21 Competitive cosplayer TBA
Raychelle Keeling[60] Springfield, Missouri 26 Gamer TBA
Colby Burnett[61] Chicago, Illinois 29 Jeopardy! champion 7th
Heather Wensler[62] Denver, Colorado 24 Neuroscientist 8th
Ori Perl[63] Silver Spring, Maryland 22 Larper 9th
Todd Landree[64] Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 26 Comic book nerd 10th
Thomas Vollum[65] Huntington Beach, California 21 Brony 11th
Jacob Rubin[66] Oakland, California 25 Quizmaster 12th

Contestant progress[edit]

Contestant Episode
1 2 3 4 5 6 77 8
Amanda IN WIN WIN IN IN RISK
Ben WIN IN IN WIN WIN WIN
Jonathan IN WIN WIN IN IN IN
Kaitlin WIN RISK RISK WIN WIN WIN
Lily WIN IN IN WIN WIN WIN
Raychelle WIN IN IN WIN WIN WIN
Colby IN WIN WIN RISK RISK OUT
Heather IN WIN WIN IN OUT
Ori RISK WIN WIN OUT
Todd WIN IN OUT
Thomas WIN OUT
Jacob OUT

^Note 7 : Teams were dissolved and Nerd Wars became individual challenges.

Key
     (WINNER) The contestant won the competition and was crowned "King of the Nerds".
     (RUNNER-UP) The contestant was the runner-up in the competition.
     (WIN) The contestant won the Nerd War and received immunity from elimination.
     (IN) The contestant lost the Nerd War, but was not selected to compete in the Nerd-Off.
     (RISK) The contestant won the Nerd-Off and escaped elimination.
     (OUT) The contestant lost the Nerd-Off and was eliminated from the competition.
Teams
     The contestant was a member of Team S.M.A.S.H. (Supersonic Masters And Slayers of Hordes).
     The contestant was a member of Team House Hooloovoo.

Episodes[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(millions)
17 1 "Judgment Day" January 23, 2015 (2015-01-23) 0.89[67]
  • Nerd War: The teams, predetermined by hosts Carradine and Armstrong, construct steampunk-themed Rube Goldberg machines designed to reveal their official team names. If any interactions fail during their presentations, the teams are allowed to reset their machines up to three times. The contraptions are evaluated on their functionality, engineering, and creativity by a judging panel consisting of Syyn Labs president Adam Sadowsky, whose company built the Rube Goldberg machine featured in the music video for "This Too Shall Pass" by OK Go, actress and book author Danica McKellar, and actor and writer Michael McMillian.
  • Nerd-Off: Two players compete in a trivia challenge involving anime, manga, and kaiju. For every correct answer, the contestants, dressed as giant monsters, get to rampage through a section of a miniature city named "Little Little Tokyo". The first person to successfully answer four questions and destroy the factory in the final sector wins.
18 2 "And Now for Something Different" January 30, 2015 (2015-01-30) 0.70[68]
  • Nerd War: The teams compete in a science fiction-themed cosplay contest, requiring them to create their own costumes and tell a story through performance. The teams are judged on their creativity, costumes, and moral of their stories by voice actress Tara Strong, professional cosplayer Yaya Han, and actor Billy Boyd.
  • Nerd-Off: Two nerds embark on a journey through an enchanted forest filled with mythical creatures. The setting and outfits for the challenge draw inspiration from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Each creature the contestants encounter poses them with a riddle. The first contestant to answer three riddles correctly wins.
19 3 "The Gods Are Angry" February 6, 2015 (2015-02-06) 0.81[69]
  • Nerd War: Each team has two hours to craft two boats out of cardboard and duct tape, which they must use to race across a swimming pool. While crossing the water, the teams must collect submerged puzzle pieces etched with geometry problems, which, when solved and placed in the correct order, reveal the combination to a lock on a chest containing a golden laurel wreath. The first team to return to the starting point and place the wreath upon their bust is named the winner.
    • Reward: Each member of the winning team earns a Razer pro gaming system.
  • Nerd-Off: Two competitors take turns matching objects to relevant figures in ancient Greek mythology; for example, a wooden horse is paired with Odysseus, while theatre masks are paired with Dionysus. The first person to match four items correctly wins.
20 4 "Do They Choose Wisely...or Poorly?" February 13, 2015 (2015-02-13) 0.86[70]
  • Nerd War: In a throwback to the first season of King of the Nerds, the teams work with music producers and choreographers to create their own "nerd anthems". The teams are judged on their lyrics, choreography, and overall performance by Gym Class Heroes lead vocalist Travie McCoy, singer-songwriter and actress Lisa Loeb, and recording artist and DJ Moby.
  • Nerd-Off: Two contestants compete in a challenge inspired by Indiana Jones. First, the nerds must grab a whip lying atop a steep hill, dodging giant boulders along the way, and use it to disarm a gun-wielding mannequin. Then, they must obtain a dagger from a cauldron filled with live snakes and cut through a rope connected to a suspended burlap sack, which contains ten idols labeled with the names of famous "nerds of yore": Leonardo da Vinci, Nicolaus Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Mary Shelley, Nikola Tesla, Madame Curie, Albert Einstein, Neil Armstrong, and Stephen Hawking. The first person to correctly order the idols by birthdate wins.
21 5 "Nuclear Nerd Games" February 20, 2015 (2015-02-20) 0.78[71]
  • Nerd War: The teams compete in a variety of party games. Magician Penn Jillette and actress Rachelle Lefevre temporarily join the teams to provide their assistance. The team with the most points after three games ("Name that Nerd", "Pic-so-Nerdy", and "Panto-Nerd") wins the challenge.
  • Nerd-Off: Set in a post-nuclear dystopian future, two players race to complete a word jumble. The nerds must first retrieve 28 letter tiles hidden, amongst other items, inside several bins of green "toxic waste". They must then arrange the letters to form words and fill in the blanks to an incomplete message. The boxed letters within the message are used to solve the final answer phrase. The first person to finish the word jumble, without spelling errors, is safe from elimination.
22 6 "Murder at Nerdvana?!" February 27, 2015 (2015-02-27) 0.86[72]
  • Nerd War: The teams are tested on their knowledge of forensic science in a murder mystery challenge. To solve the mystery, the teams race to complete four stations centered around several criminal investigation techniques: fingerprint analysis, bloodstain pattern analysis, hair analysis, and DNA profiling. The first team to solve the stations and deduce the identity of the murderer, along with their weapon, wins.
    • Reward: The winners each receive a prize robotics kit.
  • Nerd-Off: Two contestants compete in a trivia contest about horror films. They must first identify a horror film based on the movie quote provided by the hosts. For every correct answer, the contestants get to use their cricket bats to bash zombies in the head. Each zombie has a different hidden point value. Higher difficulty questions allow the players to kill more zombies and net more points. The person with the highest score after three rounds is declared the winner.
    • Note: Following the Nerd-Off, teams are officially dissolved and subsequent Nerd Wars become individual challenges.
23 7 "Invasion of the Nerd Snatchers" March 6, 2015 (2015-03-06) TBD
24 8 "The Nerdtastic Finale" March 13, 2015 (2015-03-13) TBD

Reception[edit]

King of the Nerds debuted to primarily lukewarm reviews. Brian Lowry of Variety criticized the premiere episode for its "numbing lack of imagination", stating that "even the inspired casting of Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong as hosts can’t make this more than a bored game of groans."[73] Matt Roush of TV Guide expressed similar apathy, calling the opener a "tedious affair" that was "all fairly harmless, but instantly forgettable."[74] Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times gave the show a slightly more positive rating, saying that "the competitors may not be all that amusing, but some of the show’s gimmicks are."[75] Allison Keene of The Hollywood Reporter provided a positive review, finding King of the Nerds to be "an entertaining competition show" that "strikes the right tone by neither making fun of nor blindly praising the competitors for their quirks (of which they have many)."[76]

Ratings[edit]

The first season of King of the Nerds premiered to 2 million total viewers on January 17, 2013, with 1.2 million adults 18-49 and 586,000 adults 18-34.[77] Through its first three episodes, the show averaged 2.1 million viewers, with 1.3 million adults 18-49 and 670,000 adults 18-34 in Live+7.[77] The second season saw a decline in viewership, averaging 1.5 million total viewers and more than 1 million in the key adults 18-49 demographic.[2]

International syndication[edit]

Electus International, the global distribution arm of Electus, distributes King of the Nerds internationally.[19] On January 14, 2013, Canadian network Slice announced that it had acquired the series from Electus International. The first season premiered on January 23, 2013, while the second season aired on January 29, 2014.[78][79] The series also aired in Australia on Network Ten and Eleven.[80][81] On July 31, 2014, Sky 1 announced that it had ordered a United Kingdom adaptation of King of the Nerds. The UK version, produced by Objective Productions, will be hosted by British television presenter Konnie Huq; the series is currently set to premiere in 2015.[4]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]