King of the Nerds

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King of the Nerds
KingoftheNerdsLogo.png
GenreReality competition
Presented byRobert Carradine
Curtis Armstrong
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Ben Silverman
  • Charles Wachter
  • Chris Grant
  • Craig Armstrong
  • Curtis Armstrong
  • Jimmy Fox
  • Rick Ringbakk
  • Robert Carradine
Running time40 to 43 minutes
Production company(s)
Broadcast
Original channelTBS
Picture format1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Original runJanuary 17, 2013 (2013-01-17) – present
External links
Website
 
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King of the Nerds
KingoftheNerdsLogo.png
GenreReality competition
Presented byRobert Carradine
Curtis Armstrong
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Ben Silverman
  • Charles Wachter
  • Chris Grant
  • Craig Armstrong
  • Curtis Armstrong
  • Jimmy Fox
  • Rick Ringbakk
  • Robert Carradine
Running time40 to 43 minutes
Production company(s)
Broadcast
Original channelTBS
Picture format1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Original runJanuary 17, 2013 (2013-01-17) – present
External links
Website

King of the Nerds is an American reality competition series that airs on TBS. It is hosted by actors Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong, best known for their roles in the Revenge of the Nerds film series. The series premiered on January 17, 2013.[1] The show features eleven nerds 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 has been renewed for an eight-episode third season, which is scheduled to air in early 2015.[2]

Premise[edit]

King of the Nerds follows eleven contestants as they live together in one house, called "Nerdvana", and 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).[3]

The show uses a progressive elimination format. The contestants are separated into two teams via schoolyard pick. 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. Two players from the losing team are 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 two chosen competitors are informed of the concept behind the Nerd-Off, giving them time to prepare before the challenge. After the event, the loser is eliminated from the competition.

Once the number of contestants has dwindled down to five, the teams are officially disbanded and the game becomes an individual endeavor. In the penultimate Nerd War, only one player is granted immunity. The losing contestants must vote amongst each other to send one player into the Nerd-Off, while the winner casts the sole vote for the other player. In the event of a tie vote between the losing members, the Nerd War winner acts as the tiebreaker and chooses the second person to compete in the Nerd-Off. With four players remaining, the final Nerd War eliminates two contestants, determining the two finalists.

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 of the second season was instead determined through a gauntlet of puzzles and games.[4] The eliminated nerds were brought back to help the finalist of their choosing during the last Nerd-Off.

Development and production[edit]

After finding ratings success with its syndicated reruns, TBS ordered eight episodes of King of the Nerds in March 2012, its first unscripted competition series in seven years.[3] The show was shot on the campus of Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, and was set to include guest stars such as George Takei, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Adam Busch, Richard Blais, and MC Frontalot.[5] To promote the show, contestant Celeste Anderson appeared on the February 12, 2013 episode of Conan.[6]

TBS ordered a second season of King of the Nerds in February 2013.[7][8] The season was filmed at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, after the production staff were unable to secure the location from the previous year.[9][10]

Preliminary casting for a third season began on April 17, 2014.[11][12] On June 2, 2014, TBS officially announced that the network had ordered another season.[2]

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".[13] The contest ran simultaneously with regular casting and had people submit videos to the King of the Nerds Facebook page.[13] 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.[14]

Season 1 (2013)[edit]

Contestants[edit]

NameLocationAgeSpecialtyPlace
Celeste Anderson[15]Orillia, Ontario[1]22Pro gamer1st
Genevieve Pearson[16]Studio City, California[1]27Fantasy writer2nd
Danielle Mackey[17]Rome, New York[1]23Video game blogger3rd
Ivan Van Norman[18]Torrance, California[1]27Role-playing game designer4th
Moogega Cooper[18]Pasadena, California[1]26NASA engineer5th
Virgil Griffith[18]Pasadena, California[1]28Master hacker6th
Joshua Ovenshire[18]Los Angeles, California[1]24Comics & gaming nerd7th
Alana Smith-Brown[19]Corning, New York[1]26Comic book nerd8th
Brandon Moore[20]Somerville, Massachusetts[1]24Neuroscientist9th
Jon Paprocki[21]Atlanta, Georgia[1]22Mathematician10th
Hеndrik Lеnfеrink[22]Somerville, Massachusetts[1]26Geophysicist11th

Contestant progress[edit]

ContestantEpisode
123456748
CelesteININWININWININININWINWINNER
GenevieveININWINRISK3WINRISK3RISKINWINRUNNER-UP
DanielleWINWINRISK2WININWINWINWINOUT5
IvanWINWININWINRISK3WININOUT5
MoogegaWINWININWININWINOUT
VirgilININWININWINOUT2
JoshuaWINWININWINOUT2
AlanaIN1RISK2WINOUT2
BrandonWINWINOUT3
JonRISK3OUT3
HеndrikOUT2

^Note 1 : Received individual immunity from being sent to the Nerd-Off.
^Note 2 : Sent to the Nerd-Off by his or her own team.
^Note 3 : Sent to the Nerd-Off by the opposing team.
^Note 4 : Teams were dissolved.
^Note 5 : 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 was safe 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.TitleOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
1"Welcome to Nerdvana"January 17, 2013 (2013-01-17)1.99[23]
  • 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"Imaginary Realms"January 24, 2013 (2013-01-24)1.65[24]
  • 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"Games without Frontiers"January 31, 2013 (2013-01-31)1.57[25]
  • 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"Supernerds"February 7, 2013 (2013-02-07)1.48[26]
  • 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"High IQ's"February 14, 2013 (2013-02-14)1.23[27]
  • 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"Nerdy Dancing"February 21, 2013 (2013-02-21)1.05[28]
  • 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, the hosts announce the dissolution of the teams, leaving the five remaining nerds to fend for themselves.
7"Enginerds"February 28, 2013 (2013-02-28)1.49[29]
  • 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 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. The player with the tallest structure at the end of time is safe from elimination.
8"The King Is Crowned"March 7, 2013 (2013-03-07)1.54[30]
  • 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]

NameLocationAgeSpecialtyPlace
Kayla LaFrance[31]Greenacres, Washington[32]26Rocket scientist1st
Jack Hou[33]Urbana, Illinois[32]24Bioengineer2nd
Brian Davidson[33]Urbana, Illinois[32]26Historian3rd/4th
Xander Jeanneret[34]Los Angeles, California[32]26Gamer3rd/4th
Zachary "Zack" Storch[35]Minneapolis, Minnesota[32]21Fantasy writer5th
Chris Jackson[36]Waco, Texas[32]27Mechanical engineer6th
Katie Correll[36]Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania[32]23Roboticist7th
Nicole Evans[9]Milwaukee, Wisconsin[32]28Inorganic chemist8th
Mary Kate Smith[37]Starkville, Mississippi[32]23Aerospace student9th
Josh Wittenkeller[14][38]Grayslake, Illinois[32]22Pokémon Master10th
Kelsey Syers[39]Canton, Georgia[32]23Japanophile11th

Contestant progress[edit]

ContestantEpisode
123456798
KaylaINWINWINWINWININWINWINWINNER
JackWININININRISK7WINRISKWINRUNNER-UP
BrianINWINWINWINWINRISK6INOUT10
XanderINWINWINWINWINININOUT10
ZackWINRISK6RISK6RISK6INWINOUT
ChrisRISK7WINWINWINWINOUT7
KatieINWINWININ8OUT6
NicoleWINININOUT7
Mary KateWININOUT7
JoshWINOUT7
KelseyOUT6

^Note 6 : Sent to the Nerd-Off by his or her own team.
^Note 7 : Sent to the Nerd-Off by the opposing team.
^Note 8 : Switched teams.
^Note 9 : Teams were dissolved.
^Note 10 : 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 was safe 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.TitleOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
1"In Search of a King"January 23, 2014 (2014-01-23)1.03[40]
  • 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.
2"Weird...Science?"January 30, 2014 (2014-01-30)1.38[41]
  • 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.
3"To LARP or Not to LARP"February 6, 2014 (2014-02-06)0.96[42]
  • 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.
4"Ready, Set, Robot Dodgeball"February 13, 2014 (2014-02-13)0.96[43]
  • 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.
5"Trek Wars"February 20, 2014 (2014-02-20)0.93[44]
  • 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.
6"Nerds to the Rescue"February 27, 2014 (2014-02-27)0.94[45]
  • 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.
7"Angry Nerds"March 6, 2014 (2014-03-06)1.01[46]
  • 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.
8"One Nerd to Rule Them All"March 13, 2014 (2014-03-13)0.95[47]
  • 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".

International syndication[edit]

On January 14, 2013, Canadian network Slice announced that it had acquired King of the Nerds from Electus International. The first season premiered on January 23, 2013, while the second season aired on January 29, 2014.[48][49] The series also aired in Australia on Network Ten and Eleven.[50][51]

Sky 1 ordered a United Kingdom adaptation of King of the Nerds on July 31, 2014. The UK version, produced by Objective Productions, will be hosted by British television presenter Konnie Huq; the series is currently set to premiere in late 2014.[52]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (June 2, 2014). "'King of the Nerds' Renewed for Third Season at TBS (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Rose, Lacey (March 15, 2012). "TBS Orders Reality Show 'King of the Nerds' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  4. ^ Armstrong, Curtis; Carradine, Robert. "King of the Nerds - Finale Letter". TBS. Retrieved March 23, 2014. 
  5. ^ Stafford, Kristina (December 5, 2012). "KING OF THE NERDS: GUEST STAR NEWS". TBS. Retrieved March 23, 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Walls Have Ears, and Other Side Effects of This Medication". Conan. Season 3. Episode 45. February 12, 2013. TBS.
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  10. ^ Singh, Ajay (August 8, 2013). "'King of The Nerds' Turns Oxy Landmark Into 'Nerdvana'". Eagle Rock Patch. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  11. ^ Armstrong, Curtis (April 17, 2014). "CALLING ALL NERDS: It is official!". Twitter. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  12. ^ KotN Casting Team (April 17, 2014). "Drumroll Please...We R Accepting Submissions & Hometapes 4 KotN!". Twitter. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
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  14. ^ a b Stafford, Kristina (October 9, 2013). "King of the Nerds: 'The People's Nerd' Winner Revealed". TBS. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
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  39. ^ Ho, Rodney (January 17, 2014). "TV briefs: Decatur actress out on 'Homeland,' Frank Darabont and 'Walking Dead,' Jason Bailey, King of the Nerds". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved January 26, 2014. 
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