Media Watch: Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons to Produce Series on Gifted Titled “Prodigies”

parsonsIn what represents a potentially major venue to showcase the world of the gifted and talented, actor Jim Parsons, who plays Dr. Sheldon Cooper on CBS’ Big Bang Theory, is collaborating with Radical Media to executive produce a new television series titled Prodigies, based on a popular YouTube series. The series will showcase the lives and accomplishments of exceptionally gifted and talented young people as they navigate their various talent domains.

Said Parsons in a press release: “I knew within a few minutes of viewing my first episode of Prodigies that I wanted to be a part of the team bringing the digital series to a wider audience via television, spending time with these geniuses, these children, soaring and struggling with their gifts and their talents is inspiring and entertaining in a way that great television is. Prodigies reveals something about the human spirit with such joy and insight, which is why it achieved such a passionate following on the Internet. I think there are many more people out there that will find this irresistible, like I do.”

Parsons and his producing partner Todd Spiewak (through their production company Wonderful Productions, LLC) along with Radical Media will be pitching the series to broadcast and cable media outlets. They plan to attend Realscreen Magazine’s annual summit in Washington, DC later this month, where reality-based television producers are given an opportunity to pitch projects.

See an example of the YouTube series below.

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Categories: Media Watch, News, Videos | 32 Comments

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32 thoughts on “Media Watch: Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons to Produce Series on Gifted Titled “Prodigies”

  1. Sarah Dalton

    Great idea to have a series like this, rather than idolizing sports figures and entertainers. Let’s give equal time to people who USE their brains!

  2. Carl S

    I was never tested as gifted and my IQ was around 113 when I was tested at the age of 8. I have been passionate in nuclear science since the age of 9 and while I don’t consider myself a prodigy by any means, I like to think that my passion has helped me succeed. Here’s a story about my work.

    http://www.ncsu.edu/park_scholarships/news/article.php?id=240

    • Carl, reading the article about you, I’d safely wager that the intelligence test you were given did not adequately reflect your intelligence. While 113 is nothing to be ashamed of, I suspect you should have tested higher, based upon your accomplishments. Intelligence testing is not a perfect science and various factors such as culture, disability or impairment, and processing speed can negatively impact the results. Additionally, some of the newer versions of intelligence tests do not service the gifted community very well. I mentioned my own concerns about intelligence tests in an earlier post – IQ Testing and the Gifted – and there have been additional concerns expressed by others.

      And I am absolutely certain that your mother would be amazed and proud of you.

      • Julie Callicutt

        I look forward to the series. I do agree and am relieved to hear that other gifted people feel that the psychological or personality tests are a gross misrepresentation of their above average intelligence. We do not think on the level of average people.
        What has been a HUGE turning point for me is looking back at what so many other people blatantly pointed out were personal and professional disappointments (to put it lightly), and seeing them as worldly accomplishments and contributions. After finding out I was gifted in several areas, with a “multi-potentiality” in a number of industries (quoted from a PhD from Psychology Today), now the search begins for a company who can use my gifts to change the world.

  3. jean rocki

    I offer my sycophancy Jim. Please keep in mind that television shows such as the Big Bang Theory and characters portrayed as you portray “Sheldon” will always be the best medium in which to garner attention for these real-life polymaths.

  4. Lauren

    I’m a huge fan of Jim Parsons and BBT, and I think this new show is a great idea. Caring for gifted children and nurturing their abilities is really similar to working with special needs children. Too often, educators think these children will just thrive on their own, which is not always the case.

    As a young child, I was isolated from the other students since I already knew everything they were learning. My IQ on a variety of tests was always somewhere above 150. The elementary school tried moving me up a grade, but my mother wisely held me back since I was so socially awkward and could not relate to the other kids. I went to an excellent high school with many brilliant students and separate tracks according to ability, and I finally felt more comfortable. I had a near eidetic memory until my mid-twenties. I could remember months on end of what I had done, and almost could not forget anything (which is actually a terrible burden). Now, interestingly, I have lost almost all of these abilities. I wonder if I had been able to channel this sooner if I could have taken better advantage of these gifts.

  5. Karen

    Love Jim and wish him all the luck in the world. Please don’t leave the BIG Bang that show would not be the same without you.

  6. Balance. Consider balance in these precious lives, please. The cold eye of publicity can help and damage. These gifts are precious.

  7. DSmith

    I commend the efforts of these people! I am a teacher. I specifically teach students who have been identified as ‘Intellectually Gifted’. Gifted students are often ignored as people say ‘Oh, they’ll do just fine on their own’. Gifted students have their own issues as they struggle to find their place in the world. Thankfully, I work for a district that fully supports gifted and talented students. Please keep up the good work your doing with this series!

  8. Congrat’s Jim

  9. Shi Yinghui

    waiting for his excellent acting!

  10. Really everyone? Nothing against the guys, but, I hope they do bad, or better yet don’t do it. When you finally get a “GREAT” television show one of the cast wants to expand their horizons, or realize they have a hit and then demands more money. Either way, the show ends and all we get are re-runs. Come on guys,,,let’s keep “Big Bang” going.

  11. Tracy Cooley

    Thank You! Finally reality worth watching! Such a great thing to see someone who cares enough to send media in a good direction. We have far too much crime and violence on tv, yet we wonder why it happens so much in real life. We learn by example, big thank you for setting such a good example!

  12. Our education system is mired in the past! Lecture, sit at the desk and work endlessly! Our children are technology driven, and quick minded – teachers are the dinosaurs if they do not format their classrooms to encourage this quick intelligence to blossom instead of drugging it down so the dinosaurs can keep up! Read The Edison Trait – its great!

  13. Robin

    I think this sounds interesting.

    I wish they could also do articles on people who I think could possibly be remarkable if we knew how to harness them (maybe they will be someday). I am talking about someone like my son who is smart but does not test well and has potential but hasnt necessarily found out where he is going to use it. My husband and I love watching Big Bang and often glance at each other and laugh because we see so many similarities in Sheldon and Matt (our boy). Matt has been diagnosed with so many different things through the years because no one never knows what to “label hime”or do with him- he is currently diagnosed with bi-polar,adhd and some Aspergers tendencies. He is very socially awkward and has to be taught a variety of social things that so many take for granted. He grasps anything electronic quickly and learned to read by playing with computers. He could take things apart and put them together- if he wanted. He had many behavioral problems growing up and it could have possibly been because he was bored….He has always been in special ed courses. He has been mentally hospitalized 7 times and had to be put in a “home” because he didnt fit “Society’s ways”. Now, we are happy to say he is in a “regular”highschool for the first time and doing ok. He is trying so hard to “fit” in and doing pretty good. We know that someday something wonderful is going to come out from all this – he is so smart when he uses what he has in the right way. I just so much wish we could have found out whatever it is at an earlier age and let it grow. I wish we could have funneled it in the right direction. We/and or HE will someday. Just you wait and see. There are so many surprises and gifts out there – just look at Einstien, and various others.
    I hope this rambling made sense. It sure made me feel good and I cant wait for what the world will show us with these gifts from God.

    • Felicia

      Your comment makes me think of my son.At an early age he was diagnosed as being ADHD, more recently as being bi-polar.He’s had a lot of behavioral problems in school and told me in 1st grade it was because he was bored.He had his I.Q. tested at 11 and it was 137.It’s sad children like him often fall thru the cracks because schools don’t want to deal with them.He’s always been socially awkward and has lacked social skills.It took us years to find a school that was willing to work with him, most of them just assumed he was acting out.He was enrolled in the gifted program at his last school,unfortunately his new school doesn’t have a program like that and he is once again struggling to be accepted by his peers who often bully him because they don’t understand him.He gets so upset over the littlest things.I wish parents would teach their kids to be more accepting of those who are different.My son too was put in a mental hospital because the school didnt feel he was properly diagnosed, that’s where they decided he was bi-polar.I wish your son luck.Hopefully someday children like yours and my son will be looked at as they are and not as “social outkast”

    • tlynn

      I specialize in teaching those kids and I want to lessen your fears – all that social awkwardness seems so prominent now but when they become older – it is barely noticeable. Encourage his specialty, dwell on courtesy and manners (a perceived sign of intelligence by other people), and give him an artistic outlet – it will be okay!

    • Brandy

      With a caring mother like you he will go far!!!

    • rita fuller

      Sounds like he needs acceptance and unconditional love, Robin. My advice: don’t take a perfectionist’s approach. There is nothing you must prove to anyone. Don’t fail to realize the beauty of today by anticipating future results. signed: rita fuller, born 1966, label “gifted & talented’ 1978, diagnosed bipolar/paranoid 1995.

    • Steve

      I hear ya. I tested just above average. I now have 8 patents in the field reconfigurable computing I had a part in founding. They don’t test for imagination or inventiveness. They don’t teach it or train you to think out of the box. I wonder how many of the child “prodigies” out there really made a difference in the end…

  14. Jose A. Barretto G.

    Remarkable. It is time to explore in depth from “where” do these children obtain their so call “genius gift”. For centuries these “gifts” have been credited as coming from a “Heavenly Deity”, it is of late to do a show that explores from their view points how and why, and even perhaps from where these young adults believe these “gifts” come from… Good luck to Jim and looking forward to his scientific and dark humor of The BBT. Keep it coming. A show that finally entertains you while tickling your Brain cells to go beyond the usual barrage of “crap” we get from TV.

  15. Nick

    I agree with Terry, a lot of kids are under-challenged growing up. That’s a good idea. :)

  16. Kani

    As Parsons so sensitively portrays, there’s gifted and gifted, and then there’s idiot savant. Prodigy — per MW: a. an extraordinary, marvelous, or unusual accomplishment, deed, or event. Entirely capable of production by the grievously impaired.

  17. frannie annie

    that sounds interesting,i just hope he does not give up his role of being Sheldon Cooper on BBT, if he leaves, that show will be canceled real fast

    • Diane Bates

      Sheldon Cooper is the main reason that BBT is so popular ! all the characters are good but Jim Parsons is amazing in his character role , HE IS SHELDON !! A genius in every sense of the word ! As dedicated fan please ditch Amy ! & get Sheldon & Penny together !

  18. I wish Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak the best of luck in their new TV production.

  19. “Gifted” prodigies? Not those other kind? :-)
    Redundancy, again.

    • James Bishop

      Ha! Yes, it sounds a bit redundant (and I was aware of that when I wrote it), but it was written that way specifically to ensure search engine optimization. I tweaked it a little bit more as it was bothering me, too.

    • James Shinevar

      The regular prodigies are kind of boring. You want the ones with a good story behind them.

  20. We wish Parsons, Spiewak, and Radical Media well with their efforts to bring attention to high-ability children. We also hope they will include the importance of identifying children with high potential who are not recognized in every segment of the population and whose needs are not always served well in traditional classrooms or in families without resources to help them become the best they can be.

    • Soozin

      Great idea! I look forward to the series. I also feel it is important to include the problems experienced by parents with limited financial resources. Please also include the frustration in dealing with the rigidity of most public school districts in simply getting (no cost) flexibility for supporting the individual needs of gifted children (and other students, too). If your child does not fit into the box, even their version of the “gifted” box, you’re on your own. Thank you for your article.

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