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You can’t keep a redneck down. Five years after ending its run on Fox, and three years after its syndicated afterlife was canceled, game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? is receiving a third wind on its original network — with executive producer Mark Burnett and original host Jeff Foxworthy in tow.
The network has firmed up plans for a revival of the family-friendly unscripted series, no doubt buoyed by the success of similarly kid-centric MasterChef Junior, which returned for a sophomore season this week to series-high ratings. It also comes just a few days after the network canceled its big fall reality play, Utopia.
“I have loved this competition from our first show, and the timing couldn’t be better for 5th Grader to return to Fox, as there is nothing like it on television,” said Burnett, who has been vocal in the past about his desire to get the show back on the air. “Kids today are smarter than ever, and the adults who try to take them on will have an even harder task ahead of them.”
It marks the second big game show order by Fox reality chief Simon Andreae this year. He bought the U.S. rights to Israeli competition Boom! earlier in 2014. “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? shares so much DNA with the Fox brand that it feels only natural to return it to the schedule — it’s smart, witty, irreverent and it turns the adult-child power dynamic upside-down,” said Andreae. “All of the core components of the classic format will be there, but we are also adding new twists that make it fresher and more fun for viewers.”
The 5th Grader revival also marks one of the first series commitments at Fox from newly minted Fox Television Group chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. They pair recently handed a straight-to-series order for the Ryan Murphy-produced horror comedy, Scream Queens.
5h Grader was a hit when it debuted in 2007, testing adults’ knowledge of elementary school curriculum — often embarrassing them in the process. United Artists Media Group will produce, with Burnett serving as executive producer. MGM will internationally distribute the show and format.
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