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Carrie Grosvenor

GSN Working on 'American Bible Challenge'

By January 30, 2012

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No need to check your calendars - you haven't slept through the rest of winter and awoken on April 1st. GSN is working on a pilot for The American Bible Challenge as a new, original game show in their lineup.

First, the details. The show will pit teams of contestants against each other and test their knowledge of the Bible. It will also focus on "personal stories of faith and community," and the teams will win money "to help support their faith communities." Executive Producers Michael Davies and Tom Forman are behind the show which claims to "celebrate the central role of The Bible in American society and culture." (All quotes from the official GSN press release.)

And now let's discuss why this is a very bad idea. Michael Davies has been looking at this type of game for a while now - back in 2009 Pat Kiernan hosted a pilot for National Bible Quiz which sounded a lot more inclusive. That show pitted teams based on their religion (or lack thereof) against each other and included members of all faiths or no faith at all. American Bible Challenge is clearly focusing on religion and the role of the Bible in American culture, which limits the target audience and contestant pool. If you don't belong to a "faith community," there's no point in playing.

The only conceivable reason I can come up with for this format is that GSN is getting tired of the backlash from people who think shows like Baggage and even Lingo are too racy for family viewing. This could be their attempt to draw the more conservative viewers back in.

A religion-based game show isn't a new concept - there have been a few in the past, though I can't recall any that really took off. No one (who isn't on the payroll) wants to see GSN take off with great original programming more than I do. Also, I have huge respect for Embassy Row and Michael Davies. But the American Bible Challenge is not the vehicle that is going to make great things happen for them.

Logo courtesy GSN

Comments

January 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm
(1) Wayne says:

This has been around at least since he tried to revive Pyramid the first time. I saw the logo while at Embassy Row auditioning for the Pyramid pilot that became $1,000,000 Pyramid and filmed in New York.

January 30, 2012 at 10:49 pm
(2) Frankfan1 says:

Oh…they’ll still find a way to trash-tv it up. When you have a Book with Sodom and Gomorrah they’ll find a way to sleaze it up.

February 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm
(3) Mary says:

It’s a great idea !!!

August 24, 2012 at 9:27 am
(4) Jeanette says:

I watched this show last night and was was very pleased with the contents of the show. It just may bring a whole new audience that will watch it. I think it will take off. It is very refreshing to see people play to win money to help other people or organizations. Unlike the person who says it is not going to last, I disagree. Just wish it was more then once a week. It will also help the audience learn the Bible better. I am all for it.

October 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm
(5) sharon kelly says:

I think it’s a good show and my kids just love trying to answer the questions. it’s hard now days to find something worth watching on tv.

October 1, 2012 at 7:26 pm
(6) sharon kelly says:

I think it’s a great show to watch,why not? but it’s ok to have all kinds of filth on tv, but when it comes to the bible people are up in the air about it.
My kids love to try and answer the questions and it something we can watch as a family.
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