National Geographic announced today its star-studded lineup of Brain Games celebrity guests, spanning actors and musicians to entrepreneurs and athletes. The eight-episode season, produced by Magical Elves, with Alfred Street Industries, adds a Hollywood twist to its classic mind-bending format by challenging the world’s biggest celebrities to realize their exceptional brain power through fun and highly entertaining interactive games, illusions and social experiments.
In each episode, host Keegan-Michael Key (Friends From College, Toy Story 4, The Lion King and the Emmy Award-winning Key & Peele), along with world-famous mentalist Lior Suchard and field correspondent and science communicator Cara Santa Maria, guide celebrities, including Anthony Anderson, Kristen Bell, Jack Black, Mark Cuban, Ted Danson, Tiffany Haddish, Dax Shepard, Meghan Trainor and Rebel Wilson, through fun and exciting experiments, illusions and demonstrations that will help them realize their untapped brain power. The results are hilarious, surprising and interactive, and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Brain Games premieres Dec. 1, 2019, on National Geographic and will air globally in 172 countries and 43 languages. Filmed in front of a studio audience, Brain Games merges brain power with star power as celebrities perform challenges that reveal the science behind what makes us tick. The in-studio audience, and the viewers at home, can play along as Key and master mentalist Suchard lead these A-listers through mind-bending neuroscience. Also in each episode, Santa Maria takes cerebral challenges on the road across the U.S.
In addition to Key and the Brain Games celebrity guests, many of the fun and shocking moments this season are provided by Suchard, whom many consider the best mentalist in the world. Watch as he wows celebrities, and leaves them speechless, in each episode with his incredible demonstrations. Performing amazing mental feats, Suchard takes guests on an incredible journey through the wonders of the human brain. Suchard’s act builds on drama and astonishment and includes lots of humor and full audience participation.
Episodes from this season include (episode titles are not final):
- BATTLE OF THE SEXES: Actors and real-life spouses Kristen Bell (“Veronica Mars,” “The Good Place”) and Dax Shepard (“Bless This Mess”) put their minds to the test in a battle of the sexes — finding out how men’s and women’s brains problem solve in contrasting ways.
- KIDS VS. GROWN-UPS: Co-stars on the hit ABC sitcom “Blackish,” Anthony Anderson and Marsai Martin (“Little”) go head-to-head to see how kids’ and grown-ups’ brains work differently.
- ATTRACTION: Actress Rebel Wilson (“The Hustle,” “Pitch Perfect”) explores the laws of attraction and the neuroscience behind finding the perfect partner.
- OPTICAL DELUSIONS: Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor Ted Danson (“The Good Place”), with the help of the Blue Man Group, investigate the science behind fake news.
- POWER AND PERSUASION: Entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban tackles some of the brain science behind memory and memorization and the tricks behind successfully marketing both a business and a product.
- MUSIC: Jack Black and Kyle Gass of comic-rock duo Tenacious D, along with Grammy Award-winning singer Meghan Trainor, test the ways in which music affects our brains.
- MOVIE MAGIC: Actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish (“The Kitchen,” “The Last O.G.”) delves into the science of filmmaking and the magic of Hollywood, and how our favorite films get us to suspend reality and believe the unbelievable.
- PERFORMANCE: New Orleans Saints quarterback and Super Bowl champion Drew Brees tests the brain science behind athletic performance.
In addition to the guests featured in each episode, other celebrities will be making cameo appearances throughout the season, including Tim Allen, Colin Hanks, Tom Hanks, Kevin Hart, Gillian Jacobs, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peele, Ben Schwartz and Marcus Scribner. The new season includes a mixture of in-studio and in-the-field game components; physical and mental games; and the introduction of “The Gauntlet,” a series of simple, yet challenging, brain games, faced by each celebrity guest, that delight and confound.
This August, fans will get a first look at the all-new Brain Games at Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, during Power Up Your Brain With Keegan-Michael Key on Sunday, Aug. 25, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. PST.
Brain Games is produced for National Geographic by Magical Elves with Alfred Street Industries. For Magical Elves, executive producers are Toby Gorman, Casey Kriley, James Rowley and Lauren Williams; Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz are executive producers for Alfred Street Industries. Elisa Key and Keegan-Michael Key are also executive producers on the series. For National Geographic, Matt Renner is executive producer and vice president, original programming and production; Alan Eyres is senior vice president of production and development; and Geoff Daniels is executive vice president of global unscripted entertainment.