Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Shaq, Kenny Smith Set for TBS’ ‘America’s Greatest Makers’

Kenny Smith (L) and Shaquille O'Neal
Kenny Smith (L) and Shaquille O’Neal

*Former NBA stars-turned-analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith will join “Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik on the judging panel of TBS’ new tech-competition series, “America’s Greatest Makers.”

The show, from executive producer Mark Burnett, will debut close to college basketball’s March Madness, with some games carried by TBS, so including  O’Neal and Smith of sister station TNT’s “Inside the NBA” was a natural move. Bialik, who was also TV’s “Blossom” back in the day, holds a doctorate in neuroscience.

TBS announced Tuesday that the trio will help decide the winner of the show and its $1 million top prize.

The competitors, both groups and individuals, have come up with “amazing and cool” tech ideas, Burnett said. They range from a toothbrush equipped with a video game to encourage kids to use it — to a drone with the possibility of being controlled by thought.

Competitors that survive the first round will fine-tune their products through weekly challenges to be judged by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich; financial expert Carol Roth; Kevin Pereira, co-host of truTV’s “Hack My Life,” and one of the celebrity judges.

Burnett, whose credits include “Survivor” and “Shark Tank,” said the male and female contestants range in age from 15 to 59 and are ethnically diverse.

“America’s Greatest Makers,” starting April 5, is described by TBS as part of chip-maker Intel’s initiative to foster innovation in the areas of wearable technology and smart-connected consumer electronics.

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