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King of the Nerds

King of the Nerds

Photo Credit:  Eddy Chen / TBS
  • Premiered: 
    January 17, 2013
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: tbs
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Participation
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Plot Synopsis

As they vie for the $100,000 grand prize and the title of "King of the Nerds," a group of nerds live together and compete in a series of elimination challenges that test their intellect, ingenuity, skills and pop-culture prowess. Throughout the season, the nerds live together in "Nerdvana" and face challenges like a giant game of chess, a debate, live gaming and a dance-off. Initially, the nerds pick teams and compete in team challenges, also called Nerd War challenges, that feature fantasy cosplay, gaming, a superhero debate, and more. The team that loses the Nerd War challenge sends two members to that week's Nerd-Off, a challenge that determines which nerd is banished from Nerdvana forever. When enough competitors have been eliminated, the teams are combined into a single group, and the players compete in individual elimination challenges until only one nerd remains. Since many challenges, like the superhero debate, are subjective, some episodes feature a panel of guest judges, including these celebrities in Season 1: George Takei, Jason Mewes & Kevin Smith (aka Jay & Silent Bob), Adam Busch, Yaya Han, USC Debate Team Coach Gordon Stables, and more. The nerds competed in the first season: Alana (26 years old; Hometown: Corning, NY), who is a live-action role player and comic fan using onomatopoeia instead of adjectives; Brandon (25; Nashville, TN), who is a rapping PhD neuroscience student at Vanderbilt University; Celeste (22; Orillia, Ontario), a professional gamer who specializes in first-person shooters and speedcubing; Danielle (24; Rome, NY), a game reviewer who has more than 100,000 subscribers for her gaming vlog; Genevieve (27; Studio City, CA), a test-prep and young adult fantasy writer who expresses her feelings by singing original songs; Hendrik (26; Somerville, MA), an MIT grad student who enjoys foraging for wild edibles when not researching the Martian polar ice caps; Ivan (27; Torrance, CA), a game developer and fire dancer who loves dragons and zombies; Jon (22; Atlanta, GA), a Georgia Tech graduate obsessed with mathematics and theoretical physics, who loves to rock out; Joshua (24; Los Angeles, CA), a host and producer of geek-themed web show who was a former paranormal investigator; Moogega (26; Pasadena, CA), a planetary protection engineer at NASA who received her master's degree and PhD by the time she was 24; and Virgil (28; Pasadena, CA), a master hacker studying brain science who loves colorful socks. Season 2 of KING OF THE NERDS premiered on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 10pm ET/PT on TBS, with Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong returning as hosts. Guest stars set to appear throughout the second season include Bill Nye, Mayim Bialik, Jon Heder, Kevin Sorbo, Kumail Nanjiani, George Takei, Yaya Han, and additional cast members from REVENGE OF THE NERDS. Season 2 nerds were: Brian (27 years old; Hometown: Urbana, IL), a library science scholar, who enjoys German-style board games and discussing 18th-century European history; Chris (27; Waco, TX), a structural engineer, who loves to travel and aspires to work in the space exploration industry; Jack (24; Urbana, IL), a bioengineering student and fencing and chess champion, who enjoys watching anime in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese; Josh (23; Grayslake, IL), a nerdcore rapper and game vlogger, who has nearly 700,000 subscribers; Katie (24; Pittsburgh, PA), a roboticist and puppeteer, who formerly performed in ballet companies; Kayla (28; Greenacres, WA), an ice-hockey player, who also holds a master's degree in space studies and believes she will one day reach Mars; Kelsey (23; Canton, GA), a quad-lingual Japanophile, who plays video-game music on the piano, while keeping up with fantasy/sci-fi novels and swing dancing; Mary Kate (23; Starkville, MS), an aerospace engineering student, who is an avid costumer; Nicole (28; Milwaukee, WI), a chemist and former marching band member, who competes in a Milwaukee roller derby league; Xander (27; Los Angeles, CA), a vlogger and LARP enthusiast, who lost 100 pounds by playing a popular dance video game; Zachary (21; Minneapolis, MN), a fantasy writer and hardcore gamer, who has also memorized more than 300 hours of musical lyrics in genres ranging from J-pop to rock. KING OF THE NERDS returned for its third season on Friday, January 23, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT on TBS, with hosts Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong once again supervising the proceedings, as competitors from across the nerd spectrum vie for the ultimate nerd title. The 12 competitors for Season 3 are: Ori (22 years old; Hometown: Silver Springs, MD), who mentors robotics teams and tries to survive as a mechanical engineering student; Amanda (24; Gilbert, AZ), a paralegal, who also has her own book blog and sells comic book-inspired apparel through her successful online boutique; Colby (30, Chicago, IL), a world history teacher and quiz bowl coach, who won $375,000 on JEOPARDY!; Jonathan (28; Tempe, AZ), a mathematician with a PhD in Industrial Engineering, who plays board games and video games in his spare time; Jacob (25, Oakland, CA), who is an avid devourer of all nerdy media and is especially passionate about comic books; Kaitlin (26; Redwood City, CA), who has a doctorate in mechanical engineering and works at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Heather (26, Denver, CO), a neuroscientist by day and fandom queen by night, who prides herself in being well-versed in many areas of nerd culture; Thomas (21, Huntington Beach, CA), a Brony, who is also a STAR WARS junkie with a fairly large Lego collection; Raychelle (27, Springfield, MO), a self-proclaimed master of all things nerdy, who is best known for her works with cosplay and video gaming; Ben (29; Los Angeles, CA), a postdoctoral researcher studying microbial genomics in deep-sea environments, who has a STAR WARS-themed kitchen; Lily (22, Denver, CO), a proud trekkie and browncoat, who has a degree in developmental psychology and elementary education; and Todd (26; Pittsburgh, PA), who is the life of the party because he puts himself in awkward situations for all to witness. Guest stars for the third season include: Danica McKellar, Michael McMillian, Yaya Han, Billy Boyd, Moby, Lisa Loeb, Travie McCoy, Penn Jillette and Rachelle Lefevre.
On Friday, March 13, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT, TBS premiered the Season 3 finale of KING OF THE NERDS. In the season ender, "The Nerdtastic Finale," the King or Queen is crowned after surviving a gauntlet of impossibly Nerdy challenges.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Electus
  • Produced by 5x5 Media