Discovery Channel Canada to unleash “Know-It-All” in January

Discovery Channel Canada is set to debut what it is calling its "biggest series ever," Canada's Greatest Know-It-All, from Toronto-based Boxing Cats and Cream Productions.
December 19, 2011

By Danielle Ng See Quan, Playback Daily

Discovery Channel Canada is set to debut what it is calling its “biggest series ever,” Canada’s Greatest Know-It-All, on Monday, Jan. 30 at 10 p.m. EST.

The eight-part series from Toronto-based prodcos Boxing Cats and Cream Productions for Discovery Channel, and hosted by Daniel Fathers (The Transporter, Heartland) follows 10 self-proclaimed know-it-alls competing against one another in challenges of intellect, strategic thinking, teamwork and physical strength.

The original series is a new format for Discovery Channel, developed as a collaboration between the channel and the prodcos, which both had approached Discovery with similar initial proposals loosely tied to what is now Canada’s Greatest Know-It-All, says Ken MacDonald, VP programming, Discovery Channel.

“We worked with [Boxing Cats and Cream Productions] as partners to develop a format, with [Discovery] contributing our input based on our knowledge of our audience and our brand to shape this format and develop the show together,” MacDonald says.

According to MacDonald, Canada’s Greatest Know-It-All is the channel’s most ambitious series to date, both in terms of its budget and its complex challenges.

For example, one of the show’s more high-concept challenges involves the cast determining the correct release point of a “bomb” from a real Lancaster Bomber aircraft.

“It’s not just another elimination show,” MacDonald emphasizes, explaining that the competitors compete both with and against each other to test their knowledge and problem-solving skills, earning points in a series of complex tasks. The individual with the fewest points after a final surprise challenge leaves the series.

MacDonald says that he thinks the show will resonate with Discovery Channel’s audience because everyone has a friend or family member who “knows absolutely everything about everything, has an opinion about everything, [and] knows how to do things better.”

The show is designed to laser-target that knowledge-craving Discovery watcher, says MacDonald.

“We probably collectively spent more time developing the challenges than anything else attached to this program, because that was where we felt we really had to target a Discovery audience,” he explains. “The challenges couldn’t be silly; they had to be clever, and there had to be a takeaway, as well as the entertainment value.”

The show’s digital media strategy will include live Twitter chat during the broadcast, and web extras like trailers and multiple choice quizzes for viewers to test their knowledge at home.

Another Canadian competition program that puts the onus on intelligence, Canada’s Smartest Person, will debut on the CBC as a two-hour special in March.

(With files from realscreen)

About The Author
Justin Anderson joined Realscreen as senior staff writer in 2021, reporting and writing stories for the newsletter and magazine. During his 20-year career he’s filled a variety of roles as a writer and editor at a number of media organizations, covering news and current affairs as well as business, tech, the film and music industries and plenty in between. He’s also spent time behind the scenes in television production, having written everything from voiceover scripts for documentaries to marketing copy. He has a degree in Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).