‘The Big Brain The­ory’:

10 p.m. Wed­nes­day, Dis­cov­ery

TV Week - - FRONT PAGE -

If you think Amer­ica doesn’t do the cool stuff any­more — or that half of it is al­ways out­sourced over­seas — you’ll re­think that af­ter watch­ing Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel’s new com­pet­i­tive re­al­ity se­ries “The Big Brain The­ory: Pure Ge­nius.”

Not only does it fea­ture 10 su­per­s­mart con­tes­tants com­pet­ing in high-tech and high-ex­plo­sives chal­lenges un­der the watch­ful eye of host Kal Penn (“House,” “Harold & Kumar”), but view­ers also get to visit the venue where it was shot — WET De­sign in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s San Fer­nando Val­ley.

“It was quickly on the heels of Steve Jobs pass­ing away,” Nancy Daniels, Dis­cov­ery’s ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion, says of the in­cep­tion of the idea for the show. “There were a lot of ques­tions out there: ‘What does this mean for Amer­i­can in­no­va­tion; is it go­ing to go else­where?’

“We were look­ing at (the show) as be­ing a cel­e­bra­tion of Amer­i­can in­ge­nu­ity and in­no­va­tion, re­ally show­ing off what we have here in this coun­try.”

To achieve that, there’s hardly a bet­ter place to start than WET De­sign.

Stretch­ing over sev­eral blocks in a sun­baked light-in­dus­trial area of a desert city, WET, true to its name, spe­cial­izes in wa­ter. Ac­tu­ally it spe­cial­izes in drib­bling, flow­ing, spraying, cas­cad­ing and shoot­ing wa­ter into the air in a dizzy­ing va­ri­ety of ways, blend­ing it with light, mu­sic and even fire.Among its most fa­mous projects is the Foun­tains of Bel­la­gio, a Las Vegas land­mark that of­fers a daz­zling dance of il­lu­mi­nated jets.


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