There was a lot of drama behind the scenes of Lifetime’s new reality series CHILD GENIUS.
The show, premiering January 6, pits some of the smartest 8 to 12 year-old in America against each other in a quiz of all around intelligence that would make even a JEOPARDY champ feel stupid.
Not surprisingly, many of their over-protective helicopter parents were in a competitive frame of mind as well.
“The parents were obviously competitive in certain ways and wanting their children to do well, as we all do,” executive producer John Hesling tells TheTVPage.com.
“There were complaints and concerns from parents that maybe their children had gotten gotten questions that were harder than another child’s. There were arguments with the moderators. There was tension for sure.”
In fairness, Hesling noted, the parents of his 20 participants were “utterly committed to their children.”
“The dads don’t go play golf and spend time away on fishing trips,” he said. “Everything that they do is focused on empowering their children and making their children more knowledgeable. That is an incredible level of focus.”
Hesling also defended charges that a British version of the show was “car crash television at its worst” and its competitors seemed “miserable the whole time.”
“It is not an exploitive show,” he said. “This particular show makes you realize that the future is bright and in fairly safe hands.”
You can read his entire interview and watch an exclusive sneak peak of CHILD GENIUS at TheTVPage.com.
CHILD GENIUS premieres Tuesday at 10:00 PM ET on Lifetime.