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The series was produced by de Passe Entertainment and Danny Kallis Productions, in association with Walt Disney Television. C., the show centers on the misadventures of boy genius and youngest child T. Henderson (Tahj Mowry), who at the age of 10 moves from elementary school and gets transferred to Piedmont High School, where he ends up becoming a high school sophomore with teenagers as his classmates. J.'s older sister Yvette (Essence Atkins), usually is the level-headed member of the family – similar to Floyd in that respect – and is the typical overachieving student. Outside of the occasional moments of awkwardness that are bound to occur when a child interacts with high schoolers, T. has a peaceable existence in the school, and is eager to be involved in school functions. is later promoted to being the equipment manager for the Piedmont High Penguins basketball team. plays keyboard for Marcus's band Mackadocious in several episodes, after one of the group's other members breaks his finger in an accident (he also briefly served as the band's manager in the season three episode "Achy Breaky Heart"). Despite his heavy and muscular build, Mo is usually depicted as a friendly person (the pilot episode, however, depicts him as being almost a rival to Marcus in a couple of scenes – particularly one in which he gets into a fight with Marcus over their classmate Mariah (Venus De Milo Thomas), whom they both are romantically interested in, resulting in T. Floyd is often annoyed with Mo's antics, such as his constantly eating from their fridge and even once having slept in T.
He must adjust to the life with older, but not necessarily wiser, high school teenagers – including his brother Marcus (Jason Weaver) and Marcus's best friend Mo (Omar Gooding). J.'s missteps of trying to fit in as a kid genius, while being a small kid in high school, as well as the contrast between his smarts and his brother's underachieving nature. Their father Floyd Henderson (John Marshall Jones), a widowed single father who owns his own roofing business, deals with the problems of raising his three kids: Yvette, Marcus and T. So much so, that he becomes the mascot for his school basketball team ("Pugnacious Pete, the Powerful Piedmont Penguin"), which leads to occasional bullying. He spends a fair amount of time at school with his older brother, Marcus, and his brother's best friend, Mo Tibbs. spends much of his time around teenagers, he is occasionally seen spending time with kids his own age, which occasionally results in his attempts to try to fit in with them in situations where he feels out of place. Played by Omar Gooding, the character of Mo Tibbs is Marcus and T. He is typically portrayed in the show as being dimwitted (such as confusing a rasher with a haberdasher) and sometimes gullible, to the point where in the episode "I Was a Teenage Sports Wife", T. makes Mo part of a placebo experiment by giving him sugar-filled pill capsules that T. claims will stimulate synapses in the brain (therefore increasing intelligence), in order to better perform on tests, only for Mo to inform other students about the pills and flooding T. J.'s bed (having done so as part of a plan to help T. sneak out to see a friend at an arcade after being reprimanded – and effectively, grounded – by Floyd over his choice of clothing).
The show still airs on the Disney Channel in the United Kingdom, but not on a recurring basis.
In late 2006, the show started airing on Disney Channel in Australia and New Zealand.
The kitchen set was scaled back as well with the back stairs that lead to the bedrooms removed.
The layout changed again in season three with the kitchen remaining the same, but the living room layout changes including the front door now located at stage left. J.'s bedroom is the only set to remain the same during the course of the entire series. The four main sets seen in the show are the classroom, the hallway, the cafeteria and the auditorium.
Smart Guy was aired on The N, Noggin's television programming block, from April 7, 2002 (along with Sister, Sister) until April 23, 2004.
A short version of the season three theme, which is different from the regular theme song was used in episodes in which ran over the allotted time.
In the season three episode "That's My Momma", Mo accidentally overhears a conversation between his parents Delroy and Verla Mae that they had adopted him as a baby – this leads him to have a falling out with his parents and Marcus and T. helping him find his birth mother – who is revealed to be a fortune teller in Delaware named Shelia Ecks.
A recurring catchphrase of his throughout the series is, "Hello der! Played by Jason Weaver, the character of Marcus Henderson is T.
The season three opening titles were made to resemble a music video (the sequence was choreographed by Russell Clark).
Three months after Smart Guy was canceled on The WB, reruns began airing on The Disney Channel from September 1999 and continued to air until Fall 2003, and again in a "Back to School" themed marathon in September 2004.