Thursday, May 24, 2012 , Updated 10:23 a.m., November 12, 2012
Christians in Dallas wanted for game show of “Biblical proportions”
It'll be a testament to how well Dallas residents have studied the New and Old testaments.
How well do you know the best-selling book of all time? A new show on the Game Show Network (GSN) called The American Bible Challenge stops in Dallas on June 2 to find people who know the Good Book enough to be quizzed about it on national TV.
[UPDATE: GSN is hosting auditions for the second season of The American Bible Challenge on November 30 and December 1 near the Dallas Galleria. Find details here. The second season airs in 2013.]
A casting call in Texas was a no-brainer for the network. “We have a big Southern skew, we have a big African American audience, and we want to go to where our audience is,” said David Schiff, senior vice president of programming and development for GSN. “There's a big faith-based community [in Dallas] as well, and we like what Dallas represents.” Casting calls also take place in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Chicago, though Dallas' is the biggest.
Before you think you could become a millionaire off your knowledge of Jesus Christ, each team of three will be required to play for a “worthy” organization, though not necessarily a faith-based one, Schiff said. The amounts of money that each team could win haven't been decided yet.
The issue of making the Bible into a game is potentially controversial, but it won't draw near the controversy that the Christian-themed show GCB brought to Dallas. “The Bible is the most popular book of all time. Period, end of sentence. There's no denying that it has an incredibly continuing relevance in hundreds of millions of lives. That is perfectly acceptable for us to take that material and those facts and turn it into a game,” Schiff said. “We're excited about this, and we have the ultimate confidence that this is going to be a really well-received series.”
Here's how it works: 18 teams play in the first six episodes. The six winning teams go on, and in the ninth and final episode, one winning team will be announced. Contestants will answer fact-based questions about the Bible, like filling in keywords in important Scripture or putting the 10 plagues in the correct order. They won't be interpreting what's in the Bible. (Thank God.)
You won't want to audition unless you're familiar with the Bible; the tagline for the show is, “If you don't know the Bible, you haven't got a prayer.” Schiff says you also don't have to be a Biblical scholar, however. Here's some advice if you're called to try out: “Be honest, be enthusiastic, and come and be prepared to tell why the Bible is important to your life,” Schiff said.
Oh yes, and Jeff Foxworthy, the comedian who hosts Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader, will host The American Bible Challenge. He's a Christian who Schiff says isn't afraid to have fun with the material.
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