The executive team at Firstline Security, Inc., conceived the idea for the reality TV series The Prodigy as a means of recruiting qualified individuals for its summer sales initiative. With competition for talent being fierce, Firstline CEO Wright Thurston challenged his associates to come up with a more efficient and less expensive way to attract sales representatives, and The Prodigy was born. Firstline Security developed the show to gauge the abilities of the contestants on a range of business tasks such as developing a business plan and conducting sales presentations. The winner of The Prodigy would claim a new car, $300,000 in cash, and $700,000 in investment capital for a business venture. Contestants were selected based on group recruiting and individual interviews.
More than 80 hours of video footage was shot for the inaugural season of The Prodigy, including interviews, presentations, competitions, judging, and more. Over the course of the series, Firstline Security organized several competitions, which were used in conjunction with sales performance numbers to determine the winner. The Firstline Board of Directors acted as the judges for The Prodigy, naming Jordan Folsom the winner during the final awards ceremony in Hawaii.
Shortly after production concluded, Firstline and one of its suppliers became involved in a legal dispute, which led the company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Although The Prodigy never aired, Mr. Folsom received a new car and $300,000 in cash. All of the footage to the original season was inadvertently destroyed; Actuality Entertainment maintains ownership of the intellectual property rights to The Prodigy.