Interview with Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine of "King of the Nerds" on TBS - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Interview with Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine of "King of the Nerds" on TBS 1/8/14

I interviewed these two guys last year, before the first season of their show. It was a fun interview so check it out. I got as much time as I wanted for that one. I only got 10 minutes for this one and it went by FAST!!  Too fast :) It was fun to speak with them again, though. Make sure to watch their show! Details below about it.

Here is the our interview. I hope you enjoy it!

If the audio is not streaming well, please right-click on this link and save it to your computer. It should work better that way! It's only about 11 minutes long.


Here is the transcribed version by Gisele!

1. Congratulations on getting a second season on your show!  That's awesome. 

Curtis: Well, we're glad and sort of astonished. We came up with this idea so long ago now, and the idea was something that we would actually involve other people in when it came to developing it. You always go into that kind of thing with a fear that the initial idea would somehow disappear, but our production partners, Five x Five and Electus and TBS, have been so supportive of the show and have helped us along and have been really great. There have been very few hiccups along the way in two seasons, and it makes us pretty happy. When we first brought it in there, we laid it out, and the ball kept being bandied about, and the production. In the initial pitch, is it a competition or is it a game show? Is it a competition, is it a game show? And one of our executive producers, Rick Ringbakk, just kept saying, "It's competition. It's competition. It's competition." And off we went.

2. So what is the difference between a game show and a competition show?

Curtis: What I meant to say was not game show, but reality where they ... versus a competition.

3.  Now, first season was 8 episodes. How many episodes in the second season?

Curtis: Still 8. It would be hard to go much more, I think. As much as we love the procedure, it's hard to do really more than that.

4. Were you pretty happy with the way the first season went and the response it got?

Curtis: Very happy. Really overwhelmed. It was successful beyond our expectations. It really was. Really, Robert and I are both not really Internet people. I mean, it's not something that we were familiar with, but as a result of the first season, we both started doing Twitter and Facebook and that kind of thing, which we'd never done before. The response that we got from people, good or bad... you know, we had some people that didn't like it or said that they're not real nerds; they're actors, and all this stuff that we got slammed with. By the same token, the far majority of people who responded were supportive and loved it and we were just... I mean, you don't get that kind of passion from your audience, except on something like this. Especially a bunch of people who spend most of their time in front of the computer to begin with. When they actually see somebody like them...

Robert: They want to know how to get on to Season 2. How do I get on this show? What do I have to do?

Curtis: Or they have someone that they think should be on the show, and that actually wound up happening for the second season where we had so many people saying, "You should get this person." On the Internet, this is. And they'd say, "You have to get this person. This person is a real nerd. This person is the best nerd in the world." Blah, blah, blah, blah! And so we came up with the idea of doing the people's nerd competition on the Internet. It started with three people, voting on the Internet, and the winner would get a place in our second season. And JWittz (Josh Wittenkeller), who has a huge following, won, so he became one of our nerds.

5. Did you go back to Comic-Con to find more nerds and then did you get a lot of good response there?

Robert: We did a couple of Comic-Cons this year. We went to San Diego Comic-Con while we were shooting. One of the plans was to do an episode around Comic-Con, but that didn't pan out. We wound up having...

Curtis: Yeah, we were going to, but we didn't cast out of Comic-Con this year, which we did the first year, because by the second season everybody would know what the show was, so we didn't have to go that route, but we did go to Comic-Con and New York Comic-Con, as well. You know, those are our people.

6.  So, you got a nice warm response from everyone at the Comic-Cons?

Robert: Yeah, this year in New York the room where we did our panel was oversold, so that was heartwarming.

7. Next year, you're gonna have to go in disguise or something, you're gonna be so popular.

Robert: I know. Actually, it was great because, not only were we in New York, we had JWittz with us, but we also had Genevieve from our first season, because she was hired by Five x Five Media for the second season to be a challenge consultant. So, she went from being runner up in first season to actually now having a job developing television at Five x Five Media, which we couldn't be more pleased about, because we love Genevieve.

Curtis: She's a great gal.

8. That's fantastic. It's good that you were able to not only that somebody won the competition show but changed their lives, really.

Curtis: Yeah.

Robert: Absolutely.

Curtis: I agree. I think it does have that effect. Especially for the people who are there for most of the episodes. It is a life-changing event in some ways, and it certainly was for Celeste who won. And Genevieve as runner-up did very well for herself.

9. What have you learned since last year about doing this show?

Curtis: That we had to figure out a way to end it.

Robert: Yeah, that was an overwhelming complaint, critique. Also because we had the same crew back, most of the same crew, there's an esprit de corps on the set developed in the first season and then really flourished in the second.

Curtis: Yeah. Yeah. That was true, but because you're dealing with personalities and individuals, every season is going to be something new. It's not like a scripted series where you start the series with an arc, and you write scripts before you even get the actors in the room, all that kind of thing obviously. So, from our standpoint, we learn something new all the time. I think the big one last year was that we had to come up with a better way to end the show, as opposed to the so-called popularity contest, which we were very disappointed in, too. There are other things, littler things, where we'll go, "Well, we'll have to fix that next season" or "We'll have to fix this next season." That happens all the time, because new things pop up.

Robert: The pace is pretty hectic, and we keep the writers working right up until we shoot.

10.  What can fans look forward to with these new episodes?

Curtis: Well, we've got... some of the challenges this year... we've got two or three challenges this year which are holdovers from last year, because they were popular. We had the cosplay episode last year and the debate. But, of course, you wind up having entirely different, because they're different people, different personalities, the debates and the cosplay become completely different creatures. All the rest of them are brand new nerd wars and nerd-offs. They are all of them just spectacular, very inventive. There's a Quidditch one, which we call Nerdditch, where we actually have them flying on brooms. We have them placed inside basically a huge Tron game in another one. We have a robot dodgeball game. There's a lot of really fun, inventive stuff.

Robert: We've also got some iconic guest judges this year. Are we allowed to say who we have?

Curtis: Sure.

Robert: Yeah. We have Billy Dee Williams and Jon Heder, Mayim Bialik. I mean we've got some really great guest judges. Plus George Takei came back.

Curtis: And Yaya Han.

11.  Curtis, will we see you again on "Supernatural" this season?  That's one of my favorite shows so I enjoyed seeing you on there.

Oh, yeah. Yeah. Thanks.

TBS's King of the Nerds Returns as 11 New Competitors Vie for the Ultimate Nerd Title

King of the Nerds Season Two Set to Premiere Thursday, Jan. 23

The nerds are back as TBS's hit competition series King of the Nerds returns for a second season with all-new nerd-tastic challenges and a new pack of contestants. Hosts Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong, who also serve as executive producers, will once again supervise the proceedings as 11 competitors from across the nerd spectrum vie for the ultimate nerd title. King of the Nerds will kick off its second season Thursday, Jan. 23, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), only on TBS.

In King of the Nerds, competitors face challenges that test their intellect, ingenuity, skills and pop-culture prowess. The nerds live together in "Nerdvana," competing first as teams before moving on to individual challenges. In the end, only one competitor will be named the quintessential master of all things nerdy, winning the $100,000 prize.

This year's King of the Nerds competitors are looking to inherit the crown from reigning champion, Celeste Anderson, a professional gamer from Orillia, Ontario, who specializes in first-person shooters and speed-cubing. The show will be bringing back some elements from last season with all-new twists in addition to more exciting and nerdy challenges. New challenges include Robot Dodgeball, Nerdiocart and a Science Fair. They will live in a bigger, better, nerdier Nerdvana during the competition. This season’s enhanced finale will also be decided by pure nerd skill rather than by vote. 

The following are the 11 competitors set to participate in the ultimate nerd-off:

Brian, 27 – Urbana, Ill.– Library science scholar who enjoys German-style board games and discussing 18th-century European history. At one time, he had 100 books checked out from the Yale library.

Chris, 27 – Waco, Texas – Structural engineer who loves to travel and aspires to work in the space exploration industry.

Jack, 24 – Urbana, Ill. – Bioengineering student and fencing and chess champion who enjoys watching anime in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese.

Josh, 23 – Grayslake, Ill. – Game vlogger (with nearly 700,000 subscribers), nerdcore rapper and world competitor in card games. 

Katie, 24 – Pittsburgh, Penn. – Roboticist and puppeteer whose work has appeared on Broadway and who formerly performed in ballet companies.

Kayla, 28 – Greenacres, Wash. – 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. –  Quad-lingual Japanophile who is equally as interested in playing video game music on the piano as she is keeping up with fantasy/sci-fi novels and swing dancing.

Mary Kate, 23 – Starkville, Miss. – Aerospace engineering student and avid costumer.

Nicole, 28 – Milwaukee, Wisc. –  Chemist, gamer and former marching band member who currently competes in a Milwaukee roller derby league.

Xander, 27 – Los Angeles, Calif. – Vlogger, graphic designer and LARP enthusiast who lost 100 pounds by playing a popular dance video game.

Zachary, 21 – Minneapolis, Minn. – Fantasy writer and hardcore gamer who has also memorized more than 300 hours of musical lyrics in genres ranging from J-pop to rock.

Guest stars set to appear throughout the second season of King of the Nerds include Bill Nye (Bill Nye the Science Guy, Dancing With the Stars), Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Kumail Nanjiani (Franklin & Bash), a Revenge of the Nerds reunion and return appearances by George Takei (Star Trek) and Yaya Han.

King of the Nerds is executive-produced by Ben Silverman, Chris Grant and Jimmy Fox of Electus and Craig Armstrong, Rick Ringbakk and Charles Wachter of 5X5 Media, as well as Carradine and Armstrong. Electus International, the global distribution arm of Electus, is distributing the series internationally.

 Connect with TBS's King of the Nerds



Twitter: | #KingOfTheNerds

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