Kal Penn to Host Discovery Channel's THE BIG BRAIN THEORY: PURE GENIUS, Premiering 5/1
Who will become America's next great innovator? Discovery's THE BIG BRAIN THEORY: PURE GENIUS is looking for the next great technological mind that could change the future. The eight-week series premieres Wednesday, May 1 at 10 PM E/P on Discovery Channel.
"The series features some of the greatest young minds in America. There is a lot at stake within the show itself, and in terms of what it signifies," said Host Kal Penn, who starred in the hit film franchise "Harold & Kumar" and worked on outreach to young Americans in the White House. "I love education and science. It's awesome to be part of such an exciting new series for Discovery Channel that celebrates all the amazing things our generation can do through creative thinking, the arts and STEM - science, technology, engineering and math."
While there are countless shows searching for the next great singer, dancer and chef, there is nothing quite like this on television. Each week, THE BIG BRAIN THEORY: PURE GENIUS presents a seemingly impossible engineering challenge to the 10 contestants.
In the first episode, contestants must develop a solution to stop a set of explosives from detonating. But here is the catch: the explosives are strapped to the back of two pick-up trucks heading in a high-speed, head-on collision. With just 30 minutes on the clock, competitors must come up with a proposed solution to complete the challenge. The expert panel of judges will then determine the two strongest engineering concepts based on logic and design. The two competitors with the best plans will become captains and select a team to execute their visions in only three days. Can the captains convince the others to pull it off? Will the concept actually work - or does it just look good on paper?
The team that successfully completes The Challenge remains safe, but the losers will face the judges, who determine which contestant will be eliminated.
Other challenges this season include: Creating a machine that can cook and arrange a meal for a group of famished tourists near the Santa Monica Pier; building a portable bunker that can be deployed in five minutes and that is able to withstand fire, pressurized water and high-speed winds from a jet engine; and constructing a robot capable of competing in three different athletic events.
"We are incredibly excited about this series and how it combines the drama of a competition show with world of science, technology and engineering. We hope that it not only entertains our viewers, but inspires young people to get more involved," said Nancy Daniels, executive Vice president of production and development for Discovery Channel.
"Creating a competition series that brings together both an educational opportunity and remarkable inventions by 'regular' people was something we've wanted to do for a long time. Teaming with Mark Fuller, the leader of his industry, created the perfect partnership to make this happen," said Craig Piligian, series executive producer.
"What you'll see in this competition is true innovation under hyper-real world conditions: extremely demanding challenges, limited resources and limited time," said Mark Fuller, series judge and CEO of WET. "The pressure that the contestants face plays out on camera with some who skyrocket with ideas, leadership and invention -- and others who do a full phase meltdown under the intense pressure."
The contestants have varied backgrounds and levels of experience, but they all have one thing in common -- the desire to win. The cameras capture the tension and pressure in the design workshop, as well as in the living quarters where all the competitors must deal with each other's egos and eccentricities.
The winner of the competition will earn $50,000 and a one-year contract to work at WET, the industry leader behind some of the world's most innovative water-based designed environments and experiences including the nine-acre choreographed lake of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
THE BIG BRAIN THEORY: PURE GENIUS is produced by Pilgrim Studios for Discovery with Pilgrim's Craig Piligian, Ralph Wikke, and Mitch Rosa and WET CEO Mark Fuller serving as executive producers. Kal Penn also serves as a producer for the series. Craig Coffman serves as executive producer for Discovery. To learn more, go to www.discovery.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/discovery and on Twitter @Discovery.
About Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 210 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.8 billion cumulative subscribers in 209 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying Curiosity through 149 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery, as well as U.S. joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The HUB and 3net, the first 24-hour 3D network. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools and owns and operates a diversified portfolio of digital media services, including Revision3.