A mural of Einstein greets visitors to the campus of Hebrew University, a school he helped establish. A mural of Einstein greets visitors to the campus of Hebrew University, a school he helped establish. A mural of Einstein greets visitors to the campus of Hebrew University, a school he helped establish. (Photo: Benyamin Cohen)

'Finding Einstein' TV series seeks out-of-the-box thinkers

'We're looking to find the next great thinkers of the world in every genre – whether it's art or music or science or math,' casting director said.

In the early months of 1919, very few people outside of Germany had ever heard of Albert Einstein. Then he made international headlines when a springtime solar eclipse helped prove his theory of relativity, overthrowing Newton's law of gravity as the reigning theory in physics. Einstein became instantly famous, recognized wherever he went.

One hundred years later, budding geniuses have a new way of becoming well-known: a reality TV show. Specifically, a new docu-series called "Finding Einstein," which aims to scour the globe in search of kids and young adults who are out-of-the-box thinkers. "We're looking to find the next great thinkers of the world in every genre – whether it's art or music or science or math," Doron Ofir, who is shepherding the casting process, told From The Grapevine. "We're looking for someone with a new way of thinking. Kids who can potentially be the keystone of changing humanity and the way it thinks."

The work of Greta Thunberg, seen here speaking in Canada, transcends a single science fair project. The work of Greta Thunberg, seen here speaking in Canada, transcends a single science fair project. (Photo: Wikimedia)

In the past 15 years, Ofir has helped cast more than 200 reality series that have aired on every major network. "I'm excited about this project above and foremost because I feel like it's one that can actually change the world," he said. Ofir is looking for more than a kid with a cool science project. As an example, he cited climate activist Greta Thunberg, who was shortlisted for the 2019 Time Magazine "Person of the Year" at only 16 years old. Einstein himself was Time's "Person of the Century" in 1999. And while Thunberg is already on her way to acclaim, the goal of the show is to discover unknown talents.

Ellen DeGeneres is serving as an executive producer on the series along with Warner Bros. in association with Telepictures. The show is currently being developed for HBO Max, a new streaming service which will launch in May 2020. The series has the blessing of the official Albert Einstein Archives, which are located on the campus of Hebrew University in Israel. "It's got some really heavy hitters behind it, so I have a lot of hope for it," Ofir said.

More than 60 years after his passing, the fascination with the scientist remains. “Einstein's face is the most recognizable face worldwide,” said Hanoch Gutfreund, the former president of Hebrew University and the director of the Albert Einstein Archives. "The interest in Einstein does not fade into history. If anything, if one can say anything about this, the interest in Einstein increases with time. It's greater now."

The application process, which can be found at FindingEinsteinCasting.com, is open to kids and young adults from around the world. Time is of the essence, as producers hope to wrap up the first round of casting within the next few weeks. Those who pique the interest of Ofir and his team will receive follow-up Skype interviews.

Submissions have already come in from kid prodigies in a variety of fields – including a master painter, a theoretical physicist and one who discovered a medical breakthrough. "It's a time of inspiration," Ofir said. "We want to inspire these kids to inspire us."

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'Finding Einstein' TV series seeks out-of-the-box thinkers
'We're looking to find the next great thinkers of the world in every genre – whether it's art or music or science or math,' casting director said.