Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by RODNEY HOemail@example.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
NBC, riding on the success of “Little Big Shots,” recently debuted a game show hosted by Neil Patrick Harris (“Doogie Howser MD”) featuring super-smart young kids competing in intelligence tests for money called “Genius Junior.”
Two of the kids competing are from metro Atlanta: Powder Springs 11-year-old Ugochi Obuba and 12-year-old Nile King from McDonough.
Ugochi will appear on the “Geeks on Fleek” three-person team Sunday, April 15 at 9 p.m. Nile will be on the following week with the team “Legen -wait for it! – dary!” (That’s a reference to Harris’ character on “How I Met Your Mother” Barney Stinson.)
The competitions include a spelling bee where you have to spell words backwards ;”Human GPS,” where they had to memorize maps and answer questions related to those maps; and increasingly difficult math equations. Harris provides amusing banter and the kids rarely wilt under pressure.
I met them both at the AJC building last week with their parents and siblings. Ugochi is super curious and super sweet. She brought a Rubik’s Cube along for the trip and solved it while we were talking. She is already doing ninth-grade level math in the sixth grade. “I knew intelligence is genetic,” said her dad Joseph, a physician who moved to United States 12 years ago from Nigeria.
Nile is a serious, low-key student and a vacuum for information, capable of consuming three books a day on average, mostly non-fiction history. (He especially likes reading African-American and World War II history.) He also wants to get in the NBA. Whether that works out or not, he’d also like to run a tech company.
“Genius is that passion you want to learn even more than the common standard students normally go,” Nile said.
“Genius Junior,” 9 p.m. Sundays, NBC