Pure Genius

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Pure Genius
The words "pure genius" with an infinity symbol over the letter "u" in pure
GenreMedical drama
Created by
ComposerWill Bates
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producers
ProducerPatrick Ward
Running time45 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseOctober 27, 2016 (2016-10-27) –
January 26, 2017 (2017-01-26)

Pure Genius (originally titled Bunker Hill) is an American medical drama television series created by Jason Katims that aired on CBS from October 27, 2016 to January 26, 2017. The series stars Augustus Prew as James Bell, who is a Silicon Valley tech billionaire, and Dermot Mulroney as Dr. Walter Wallace. It was produced by True Jack Production, CBS Television Studios and Universal Television. In May 2017, CBS cancelled the series after one season.[1]


James Bell is a Silicon Valley billionaire who dreams of building a hospital with ultimate cutting-edge technology to treat rare and incurable diseases. He partners with a maverick surgeon, Dr. Walter Wallace, who leads the effort in clearing out the bureaucracy of medicine, and focus on forward thinking, advancing technology, and saving lives—at no cost to the patient.

Cast and characters[edit]

  • Augustus Prew as James Bell, a Silicon Valley tech billionaire who opens Bunker Hill. He originally kept it secret that the hospital was founded to develop treatments for his impending hereditary mental disorder. Though James keeps the research going, he devotes his energy to every rare case the hospital gets.
  • Dermot Mulroney as Dr. Walter Wallace
  • Odette Annable as Dr. Zoe Brockett, double board-certified doctor of pediatrics and critical care
  • Reshma Shetty as Dr. Talaikha Channarayapatra, neurosurgeon
  • Brenda Song as Angie Cheng, Bunker Hill's Chief Biomedical Engineer
  • Aaron Jennings as Dr. Malik Verlaine, head of the Ehub which performs remote monitoring of patients
  • Ward Horton as Dr. Scott Strauss, an Ivy League–educated neurologist and Catholic priest


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
U.S. viewers
1"Pilot"David SemelJason Katims and Sarah WatsonOctober 27, 2016 (2016-10-27)1016.23[2]
Dr. Wallace gets fired for performing a non-FDA-approved procedure on an eight-year-old patient who did not survive. He is invited to join Bunker Hill and has his body 3D scanned to be immortalized as an action figure. James gives him the quick tour. Margo comes in for help with her unborn child, as her cancer is growing too rapidly. They need to keep her alive until her fetus becomes viable at 20 weeks so they can remove the tumor and save the mother without forfeiting the child's life. Wallace practices the delicate surgery on 3D models of the tumor. The baby and mother both survive, with the child one of the youngest on record at 146 days old. A 15-year-old girl, Krissy Ramirez, is in a coma; Dr. Channarayapatra gets her transferred to Bunker Hill and they use a cutting edge brain-to-brain mind reading system to communicate with her. Her father talks to her and she sends a message back through the helmet. James has tested positive for Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker syndrome (GSS), which is why he built Bunker Hill and why he wants to study a GSS patient, Louis Keating.
2"It's Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider Silk Surgery"Richard J. LewisJon CowanNovember 3, 2016 (2016-11-03)1035.37[3]
A boy's legs get crushed under a car while he is playing in the street. The team needs to devise a way to repair them to avoid amputation. Since they would need over 100 screws to repair the legs, Malik wants to use spider silk screws and webbing to repair them, but Zoe feels the best option is to amputate. A woman with liver disease comes into Bunker Hill. The team works out a plan to find a donor: her dad. However, his liver is damaged from a history of alcohol abuse. James suggests the use of macrophages to repair the liver so that it can be used. Zoe wants to get a park for the neighborhood where the boy got hurt and asks James for help. During the park set-up, James tells Zoe he actually bought six lots, not just one.
3"You Must Remember This"Jessica YuYahlin ChangNovember 10, 2016 (2016-11-10)1065.39[4]
A police officer who was the victim of a car accident is admitted with memory regression—he now thinks he is a kid. They do a brain scan to try and find his adult memories, including those of his wife. After James maps his memories, they manage to find most of them except those of the wife. Later, when they are sitting on a park bench, the memories of his wife start returning. An overweight patient is admitted; she needs an MRI, but the only one large enough is at the zoo. They find a tumor that causes her to want to eat. They need to operate, but she needs to lose 40–50 pounds before they can safely perform the surgery. The staff creates a custom diet plan connected to an app that counts calories and a neural inhibitor that will tell her when to feel full.
4"Not Your Grandmother's Robotic Surgery"Mark PiznarskiJason KatimsNovember 17, 2016 (2016-11-17)1025.48[5]
James brings his third grade teacher in for meniscus tear surgery and wants Wallace to use robotics. They find a cystic mass and the resulting biopsy shows stage 4 kidney cancer that has metastasized throughout her body. To fully remove the cancer, they would need to perform four operations, but her body wouldn't be able to handle the stress. The team creates a special computer-controlled robotic surgeon that will perform all four surgeries at once. A blind military veteran comes in who has constant pain, so Brockett and Channarayapatra implant a device to stop the pain. Once they turn it on, the patient sees a flash of light, which leads them to devise a way for him to see. He does not want the operation, so Brockett flies in his best friend who was injured in the same attack and he convinces him to go ahead.
5"Fire and Ice"Norberto BarbaJulia BrownellNovember 24, 2016 (2016-11-24)1044.77[6]
James convinces a hockey player with a severe spinal injury to undergo risky surgery that could enable him to walk again.
6"Bunker Hill, We Have a Problem"Dylan K. MassinMeredith AverillDecember 1, 2016 (2016-12-01)1054.76[7]
Walter and the Bunker Hill surgeons must perfect a revolutionary remote surgery when someone on the International Space Station needs an emergency procedure. Also, the team uses social media to locate the source of an E. coli outbreak in town and Zoe and Malik's flirtation heats up.
7"A Bunker Hill Christmas"Michael EnglerJason KatimsDecember 8, 2016 (2016-12-08)1075.62[8]
When a young leukemia patient comes to Bunker Hill in need of a miracle, James hopes a new t-cell cancer treatment will save her life, as her optimism inspires him to become a better person. Also, Malik and Zoe agree to go on a date just as James confesses his feelings to her and Julianna's Christmas visit with Walter uncovers the strain in their long-distance marriage.
8"Around the World in Eight Kidneys"Dylan K. MassinDenise HahnDecember 15, 2016 (2016-12-15)1085.50[9]
James and the surgeons of Bunker Hill try to make medical history with an organ transplant chain of 16 surgeries with donors and patients from all over the world.
9"Grace"Rosemary RodriguezAndrew HinderakerJanuary 1, 2017 (2017-01-01)1095.46[10]
James uses a radical anti-viral treatment on a man plagued by a drug-resistant variety of HIV; James connects with Keating's nurse. Walter takes on Allie, his daughter's partner after a rare infection gets in a cut on her foot.
10"Hero Worship"Michael WeaverTed SullivanJanuary 5, 2017 (2017-01-05)1105.24[11]
After the discovery of a region plagued by a respiratory epidemic leads James to meet his childhood hero, he soon discovers why you should never meet your heroes, as the man he once loved displays a lack of morality. Meanwhile, Dr Brockett and Dr Horton attempt to help a teenage boy suffering from a psychosomatic illness.
11"Touch and Go"Patrick NorrisMeredith AverillJanuary 12, 2017 (2017-01-12)1115.15[12]
James and Zoe attempt experimental treatments on a girl with a rare skin disorder, trying to heal her in time for her prom; James ponders an experimental cure for Louis Keating's progressing GSS; Malik is envious of James and Zoe's special connection.
12"I Got This"Michael WeaverJulia BrownellJanuary 19, 2017 (2017-01-19)1125.27[13]
Talaikha and Malik treat a famous singer with laryngeal cancer; Angie tricks her mother into seeing Scott as a patient because she thinks her herbalist superstitions aren't enough; James is concerned over the outcome of Louis Keating's GSS trial.
13"Lift Me Up"Norberto BarbaJon CowanJanuary 26, 2017 (2017-01-26)1135.20[14]
Angie tries to target her mother's cancer using a new technology; Walter, Malik, and Zoe use suspended animation to stop a man's internal bleeding; Julianna discovers that James used the unapproved GSS medicine on Louis Keating.



On January 22, 2016, it was announced that CBS had given the pilot order known as Bunker Hill.[15] The episode was written and authored by Jason Katims who was expected to be an executive producer, alongside Sarah Watson, David Semel and Michelle Lee. Production companies involved with the pilot include True Jack Productions, CBS Television Studios and Universal Television. The show was ordered at the CBS upfronts 2016 to air in the network's 2016–17 TV schedule and was officially picked up on May 13, 2016.[16] A few days later, it was announced that it would premiere by October 27, 2016 and air on Thursdays at 10:00 P.M. On August 10, 2016, it was announced that the series name was changed from Bunker Hill to Pure Genius.[17]

On November 21, 2016, CBS announced that it would not order more episodes than the 13 episodes commissioned. The production for the first season wrapped on December 15, 2016,[18] and the remaining commissioned episodes were broadcast for the remainder of its run.[19]

On May 17, 2017, Pure Genius was cancelled after one season by CBS.[1]


In February 2016, it was announced that Brenda Song, Dermot Mulroney, Reshma Shetty and Ward Horton had been cast in the pilot's leading roles.[20][21][22][23] Although the pilot was ordered, in March 2016 it was reported that Aaron Jennings and Odette Annable had joined the cast.[24][25]


Critical reception[edit]

Pure Genius has received generally negative reviews from television critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 26% rating based on reviews from 23 critics. The website's consensus reads, "Pure Genius is weighed down by stereotypical doctor drama trappings, suffocating its chances of bringing anything compelling and entertaining to the genre."[26] Metacritic reported a score of 43 out of 100 based on 19 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[27]

Willa Paskin of Slate described the show as "idiotic tech propaganda that’s about one-tenth as curious about the issues it raises as it should be." They characterized the show as featuring implausible science and technologies where workers have no regard for patient privacy, and James as a contemptuous CEO-type character who is consistently more confident than Bunker Hill's medical professionals.[28]


Viewership and ratings per episode of Pure Genius
No. Title Air date Rating/share
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "Pilot" October 27, 2016 1.0/4 6.23[2]
2 "It's Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider Silk Surgery" November 3, 2016 0.9/3 5.37[3] TBD TBD TBD TBD
3 "You Must Remember This" November 10, 2016 0.9/3 5.39[4] 0.6 2.59 1.5 7.98[29]
4 "Not Your Grandmother's Robotic Surgery" November 17, 2016 0.9/3 5.48[5] TBD TBD TBD TBD
5 "Fire and Ice" November 24, 2016 0.8/3 4.77[6] TBD TBD TBD TBD
6 "Bunker Hill, We Have a Problem" December 1, 2016 0.8/3 4.76[7] 0.5 2.49 1.3 7.25[30]
7 "A Bunker Hill Christmas" December 8, 2016 1.0/3 5.62[8] 2.53 8.16[31]
8 "Around the World in Eight Kidneys" December 15, 2016 0.9/3 5.50[9] TBD TBD TBD TBD
9 "Grace" January 1, 2017 0.7/2 5.46[10] TBD TBD TBD TBD
10 "Hero Worship" January 5, 2017 0.8/3 5.24[11] TBD TBD TBD TBD
11 "Touch and Go" January 12, 2017 0.9/3 5.15[12] TBD TBD TBD TBD
12 "I Got This" January 19, 2017 0.8/3 5.27[13] TBD TBD TBD TBD
13 "Lift Me Up" January 26, 2017 0.7/3 5.20[14] TBD TBD TBD TBD


  1. ^ a b "Ransom, Pure Genius and Training Day cancelled by CBS".
  2. ^ a b Porter, Rick (October 28, 2016). "'The Good Place' and 'Chicago Med' adjust up, 'Pure Genius,' other CBS shows down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 29, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Porter, Rick (November 4, 2016). "'Big Bang Theory,' 'How to Get Away' adjust up, 'Great Indoors' and NBC adjust down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 5, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Porter, Rick (November 11, 2016). "'Chicago Med' and NBC adjust down with NFL pre-emptions: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 12, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Porter, Rick (November 18, 2016). "'Grey's Anatomy' adjusts up, 'The Great Indoors' adjusts down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 19, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Porter, Rick (November 29, 2016). "'The Great Indoors' adjusts down, final NFL numbers: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 30, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Porter, Rick (December 5, 2016). "'Legends of Tomorrow' adjusts up; 'Supernatural,' 'Great Indoors,' 'Baking Show' adjust down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Porter, Rick (December 9, 2016). "'Life in Pieces' adjusts up plus final NFL numbers: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 10, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Porter, Rick (December 16, 2016). "'The Great Indoors' adjusts down, 'Big Bang' adjusts up, final NFL numbers: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 18, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Porter, Rick (January 4, 2017). "'Ransom' premiere adjusts down, final NFL numbers: Sunday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 4, 2017. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Porter, Rick (January 9, 2017). "ABC's Menendez brothers special adjusts up: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 10, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Porter, Rick (January 13, 2017). "'Chicago Med' adjusts up: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 14, 2017. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Porter, Rick (January 23, 2017). "'The Big Bang Theory' ajdusts up, 'My Kitchen Rules' adjusts down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 25, 2017. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  14. ^ a b Porter, Rick (January 27, 2017). "'Scandal' and 'My Kitchen Rules' adjust down, Mary Tyler Moore special adjusts up: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 27, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  15. ^ Nellie Andreeva (January 22, 2016). "Jason Katims Medical Drama 'Bunker Hill', Bob Daily Comedy 'Superior Donuts' Get CBS Pilot Orders". Deadline Hollywood.
  16. ^ Nellie Andreeva (13 May 2016). "Training Day, Bull, MacGyver, Matt LeBlanc Comedy Picked Up By CBS". Deadline Hollywood.
  17. ^ Anthony D'Alessandro (August 10, 2016). "What Inspired 'Parenthood' Creator Jason Katims To Make CBS Medical Drama 'Pure Genius' – TCA". Deadline Hollywood.
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (21 November 2016). "'Pure Genius': CBS Not Ordering More Episodes Of New Medical Drama Series".
  19. ^ Nemetz, Dave (22 November 2016). "Pure Genius: No Additional Episodes Ordered for CBS Freshman Drama".
  20. ^ Petski, Denise (February 19, 2016). "'The Jury' Pilot Casts Hina Abdullah; Brenda Song Joins 'Bunker Hill'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 24, 2016). "Dermot Mulroney To Star In CBS Pilot 'Bunker Hill'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  22. ^ Petski, Denise (February 25, 2016). "Ana Cruz Kayne Joins CBS Pilot 'Four Stars'; Reshma Shetty In 'Bunker Hill'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  23. ^ Petski, Denise (February 29, 2016). "'The Trail': NBC Comedy Pilot Casts Krysta Rodriguez; Ward Horton Joins CBS' 'Bunker Hill'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  24. ^ Petski, Denise (March 8, 2016). "Aaron Jennings Joins 'Bunker Hill' CBS' Pilot; Talitha Bateman In 'Furst Born'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  25. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 11, 2016). "Odette Annable To Star In CBS Drama Pilot 'Bunker Hill'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  26. ^ "Pure Genius: Season 1 (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  27. ^ "Pure Genius : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  28. ^ Paskin, Willa (27 October 2016). ""It's Network TV" Shouldn't Excuse Pure Genius". Slate Magazine.
  29. ^ Porter, Rick (November 23, 2016). "'Designated Survivor' makes more big gains in week 8 broadcast Live +7 ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 24, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  30. ^ Porter, Rick (December 21, 2016). "6 shows double in week 11 broadcast Live +7 ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 22, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  31. ^ Porter, Rick (December 22, 2016). "'This Is Us' reaches season highs week 12 broadcast Live +7 ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 23, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2016.

External links[edit]