Ahead of the season two premiere of CBS’ “Scorpion,” executive producer Scott Manson has no fears about running out of stories inspired by the real-life Walter O’Brien.
“The guy has stories for days,” Manson told TheWrap. “And I know he’s been spending time with the writers and the showrunners providing inspiration and fact checking along the way.”
Manson, who is also the COO of Scooter Braun‘s SB Projects, was the one who brought O’Brien’s story to Hollywood, after Manson’s father introduced the two. O’Brien was born in Ireland and developed an early interest in computers. He reportedly has an IQ of 197 and hacked NASA at age 13.
Manson also said he was captivated by O’Brien’s ability to identify other geniuses and giving them a home at his company, Scorpion Computer Services.
“Here was a guy that admittedly was not one of the coolest kids in school but had a tremendous impact on a wide range of communities,” he said.
“Also, the way he would search for people like him, those who have very high IQ’s but not as high EQs–geniuses who can barely hold a job at McDonald’s or are getting bad grades in school, but he could identify patterns that he believed indicated they were special and they just needed to be in a place they could thrive,” he continued.
Elyes Gabel plays O’Brien on the show, which follows him and a team of his fellow geniuses as they tackle cyber-crimes for the U.S. government. The show’s freshman season was a ratings hit, averaging 15.3 million viewers per episode.
Manson attributes at least a portion of the show’s success to the star power of manager Scooter Braun‘s client list, which includes pop stars like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. The show is Braun and SB Projects’ first foray into television.
“In our core businesses we have a pretty impressive footprint in social media among all of our clientele, and they were so sweet to lean in and talk about the show,” Manson said. “As we get into the television space we’re trying to figure out ways we can add value on day one while learning from the pros on a case by case and a show by show basis.”
Season 2 of “Scorpion” premieres on CBS Monday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m.