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"The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius" is a reality competition series on Discovery Channel that is hosted by actor, producer, and civil servant Kal Penn.

Who will become America's next great innovator? This series is looking for the next great technological mind that could change the future. While there are countless shows searching for the next great singer, dancer and chef, there is nothing quite like this on television. Each week, this series 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 the following: 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.

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.


Network: Discovery Channel
Genre: Reality
Runtime: 60 mins.
Premiere Date: May 1, 2013
Seasons: 1
Production Company: Pilgrim Studios

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