Washington D.C., Aug 22, 2012 / 02:21 am (CNA).- The American Bible Challenge, a new show on GSN, is testing competitors on their knowledge of the Bible and raising money for charity, with the help of celebrity host Jeff Foxworthy.
Consulting producer Maura Dunbar said that she is “just thrilled” about the project.
For years, she told CNA on Aug. 21, there had been an idea to “create a quiz show based on the Bible.”
After experimenting with different formats, that idea became a reality with the cooperation of GSN.
The result is both “fun” and “celebratory,” she explained.
Premiering on Aug. 23, the American Bible Challenge will be hosted by comedian and author Jeff Foxworthy.
Each episode will feature three teams competing, one of which advances to the next round. The ultimate prize is $100,000 for a charity chosen by the winning team.
Dunbar explained that the show will highlight the “compelling back stories” of the competitors, who are on the show “to play for a reason” and are motivated by a charity that has special meaning to them.
The charities chosen by the teams include food pantries, cancer centers and Locks of Love.
One team from Los Angeles, Calif., is composed of three firefighters who are bound together by their occupation and their faith. The men “frequently gather after a long day of work to reflect and pray together” and hope to raise money for the Saint Baldrick’s Foundation, which funds research to find cures for childhood cancers.
Another team, called the “Horns of Jericho,” consists of three brothers from a large Italian-American Catholic family in Sleepy Hollow, Ill.
Each of the brothers “found his faith tested when their grandfather died of cancer, a disease that has also struck several of their aunts and uncles.” The brothers are playing for the American Cancer Society.
Dunbar said that Foxworthy is “very excited” to be hosting the show.In addition to bringing name recognition to the program, Foxworthy “is a committed Christian,” she explained. “He lives out his faith.”
In addition to regularly attending church, he has conducted a Bible study for homeless people in his area for 15 years, she said.
In a production video on the GSN website, Foxworthy explained that when he was first approached about the idea of the show, he was skeptical about whether a Bible game show would work.
But at the same time, he said that he was intrigued by the idea of winning a game show for charity.
“How cool to actually go on and play a game where you’re not reaping the benefit, but you’re turning around and blessing somebody else,” he said. “That’s why I think it’ll work.”
He added that despite being centuries old, the Bible is “still relevant” and is the best-selling book of all time.
While the idea of a faith-based game show on a secular cable network is largely unprecedented, Dunbar believes that it will be well-received.
“I think there’s a wide audience for this,” she said, pointing to the large number of Christians in the United States.
She explained that the show manages to combine trivia and Scripture in a way that is “both respectful and fun.”
Dunbar hopes that the American Bible Challenge will draw a strong viewership from different Christian denominations and will ultimately pave the way for a second season.
“There’s something for everyone,” she said. “It’s good family entertainment.”