‘Mythbusters Jr.’ is just the latest kid-friendly reality spinoff: What’s behind the trend?

Good things come in small packages for reality-TV franchises.

Science Channel’s “Mythbusters Jr.,” arriving Jan. 2 (9 EST/PST) is the latest youthful spinoff of a successful series, following “Top Chef Junior,” “MasterChef Junior,” American Ninja Warrior Junior,” “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors,” “Project Runway: Junior” and “Chopped Junior.”

The junior Mythbusters display skills, smarts and camaraderie, says Adam Savage, the longtime “Mythbusters” co-host who returns in an “emeritus” role with six eager young scientists taking the lead in mythbusting experiments. (One is a real-life “Young Sheldon,” 13-year-old Texas college sophomore Cannan Huey-You). In Wednesday’s premiere, they conduct new experiments using  a “Mythbusters” fan favorite, duct tape.

“Every one of these kids has a hungry mind, a desire to be a science communicator and to really learn,” he says. “And what was amazing on set is that all six of these kids are really kind.”

Those traits extend to other reality competitions.

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