January 22, 2013 10:21am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Big Bang Theory's' Jim Parsons to Exec Produce TV Series Based on Digital Hit 'Prodigies'
The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons is signing on to turn the spotlight on a group of young prodigies.
The two-time Emmy winner behind the neurotic neuroscientist Sheldon Cooper will executive produce and develop a new series for TV based on the YouTube program Prodigies.
The series, featured on Radical Media's THNKR channel, will follow exceptionally gifted young people as they navigate lives where their talents and abilities offer them limitless opportunities -- sometimes at the expense of just being a kid.
The YouTube series has already featured a slew of wunderkinds -- including a 15-year-old self-taught inventor from Sierra Leone, a 14-year-old computer programmer, gifted poets, athletes and others.
Parsons will produce the series -- which will be taken out to cable and broadcast networks at next week's Realscreen Summit in Washington -- alongside producing partner Todd Spiewak under the duo's new banner, That's Wonderful Productions.
"I knew within a few minutes of viewing my first episode of Prodigies that I wanted to be a part of the team bringing the digital series to a wider audience via television," Parsons said in a statement Tuesday. "Spending time with these geniuses, these children, soaring and struggling with their gifts and their talents is inspiring and entertaining in a way that great television is. Prodigies reveals something about the human spirit with such joy and insight, which is why it achieved such a passionate following on the Internet. I think there are many more people out there that will find this irresistible, like I do."
Since its launch in July, THNKR has amassed more than 100,000 subscribers and 12 million views, with Prodigies receiving the International Academy of Web Television's award for best documentary series.
“The THNKR Channel is born out of the idea that a large and engaged audience passionately desires smart entertainment. The overwhelming online success of Prodigies has proven that if done well, small-screen content can pack a big punch," said Justin Wilkes, Radical Media president of media and entertainment. "We're ecstatic to be collaborating with Jim on bringing this program to life on longer-form television."
Check out an episode of Prodigies, below.