The Genius (TV series)

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The Genius
The Genius, Survival Game Reality Show, TVN South Korea.jpg
Developed byA9 Media
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes48 (as of September 12, 2015)
ProducerJung Jong-yeon
Running time60–90 minutes
Original networktvN
Original releaseApril 26, 2013 (2013-04-26) –
September 12, 2015 (2015-09-12)
Related showsSociety Game
External links

The Genius (Korean: 더 지니어스, a.k.a. 'The Genius Game') is a South Korean reality game show that was broadcast on cable channel tvN. The first season began airing on April 26, 2013, and the show proved to be a hit for tvN. Subsequently, three other seasons were aired in 2014 and 2015.

Each season consists of 12 episodes with 13 contestants. One player is eliminated in every episode, and the final player left standing is named the champion of the season.


The Genius brings together 13 contestants from various sectors to compete for the top spot in rounds involving various games. Every episode, a contestant is eliminated following a main match and a death match.

The Main Match is a game that all the players will have to play in order to win, and the Death Match is only played by the elimination candidates. The winner(s) of the main match will gain a token of life as a form of immunity from elimination. In the event there is a sole winner, then that player receives an additional token of life to give to another player. The worst performer in the main match (or by specific criteria) is automatically sent to the death match, and is allowed to choose their opponent. However, they cannot choose a person with a token of life. In the event that there are joint losers, the winner(s) of the Main Match will nominate the death match player among the losers.

Beside the token of life, the winner of the main match will also gain a quantity of red garnets. Each garnet is worth 1,000,000 won (approximately US$1,000). In the final episode, only the champion's total garnets are exchanged for real money. Garnets are transferable and may be gained within the game. However, all forms of theft and violence are disallowed (as of Season 3). Because the show requires sharp thinking to win, every game is expected to be riddled with thrill and shock and is filled with loopholes for the players to exploit. Each contestant must figure out both the rules of the game and its secrets, and how they can win as quickly as possible. Players may join forces with others, betray them or simply eliminate their competitors, to either create a "beautiful defeat" or an "ugly victory".

Contestants are encouraged to use every means to survive. The 13 geniuses continue to get to the end of the game in order to grab the great prize money, and in the process, build their own characters.[1]


The Genius: Rules of the Game[edit]

The Genius: Rule Breaker[edit]

The Genius: Black Garnet[edit]

The Genius: Grand Final[edit]

Plagiarism controversies[edit]

Right after first episode, it has been accused of plagiarizing popular Japanese manga series like Kaiji and Liar Game.[2]

In 2014, tvN had broadcast a remake drama of the Liar Game. However it was mentioned that The Genius production crew did not hold any copyrights of the Liar Game[3][4][5] and that the original copyright lied with Apollo Pictures and Fantagio Entertainment.

In a later interview, it was said by The Genius' Main Producer (Jung Jong-yeon) that the concept of the show was merely inspired by Liar Game, quoting "(it was) reference, and not plagiarism" upon being stated of plagiarizing Liar Game. It has also been further mentioned by The Genius' Main Producer that "All the games were designed ourselves (our production crew). We have never plagiarized anything (from the Liar Game) so far.", further denying the controversies raised.[2][6] No further details were disclosed with the accusations of the Zombie Game. The fans of the Liar Game were not happy with this response and are currently still demanding an apology.[3][7][8]

International broadcast[edit]

CJ E&M has sold The Genius copyright to the Netherlands, France and United Kingdom.[9]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2016 tvN10 Awards Best Content Award, Variety The Genius Won
Made in tvN, Actor in Variety Hong Jin-ho Nominated


  1. ^ Ko, Hong-ju (April 17, 2013). "tvN′s ′The Genius′, Featuring Infinite′s Sung Kyu, Kim Gura and More, Unveils Its Story". Mwave (in Korean). CJ E&M. Archived from the original on April 30, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  2. ^ a b '더 지니어스', 日 '라이어게임' 표절 의혹…tvN "참고했지만 달라" - TV report (in Korean)
  3. ^ a b ‘더지니어스3’, ‘라이어게임’과 불편하지 않은 동거 가능할까 - MBN (in Korean)
  4. ^ ‘라이어 게임’ PD “원작 판권, 제작사가 모두 보유한 상태” - Sports Donga (in Korean)
  5. ^ 믿고 보는 케이블 드라마, 줄줄이 새 시즌 준비…볼거리 풍성 - Sports Donga (in Korean)
  6. ^ '더지니어스3'PD "'라이어게임' 표절논란? 참고했지만 베끼지 않아" - My Daily (in Korean)
  7. ^ 표절이라는 건지 아니라는 건지 - 한겨례 (in Korean)
  8. ^ '더 지니어스', 예능에 버무려진 '처세술'의 향연 (in Korean)
  9. ^ '더지니어스', 네덜란드·프랑스 이어 영국에 포맷 수출 '韓 콘텐츠 위상↑' - TV Daily (in Korean)

External links[edit]