GSN announced Wednesday that it had signed Mitt Romney’s new BFF, Jeff Foxworthy, to host “The American Bible Challenge.”
For one hour, Foxworthy will grill contestants on their knowledge of the Bible, GSN — which once stood for Game Show Network — told advertisers Wednesday morning in Manhattan.
GSN said the questions will be “designed to acknowledge and celebrate the Bible’s continuing importance in contemporary life and culture.” Can’t wait for the stoning-of-adulteresses question.
It appears contestants will be selected on the basis of their backstories, because GSN says contestants are going to share them with viewers at home and the studio audience.
And teams of contestants will represent “worthy faith-based organizations,” said GSN, without elaborating as to how it planned to weed out the unworthy ones.
“I am excited to be hosting a show about the best-selling book of all time,” Foxworthy, who already hosts GSN’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” said in Wednesday’s announcement.
“It will be interesting to find out what people really know, and an opportunity to present the Bible in a fun and entertaining way,” Foxworthy added.
Among the show’s consulting producers are members of Odyssey Networks, a nonprofit organization that features on its Web site a video addressing, “Is America Ready to Vote for a Mormon President?”
Foxworthy recently joined Romney on the Alabama campaign trail after endorsing the GOP candidate via Twitter:
“Time for Republicans to unite behind Governor Romney, a great leader who can win the White House and rebuild our economy for all Americans,” the comic and self-proclaimed redneck tweeted.
The Blue Collar Comedy Tour headliner campaigned in support of Romney in Mobile, Ala., and Biloxi and Richland, Miss.
“The American Bible Challenge” is produced for GSN by a company called RelativityREAL.
Its TV credits — according to its Web site and other sites — include the Showtime reality series “Gigolos,” TV Guide Network’s “Hollywood Girls Night,” TLC’s docu “Ted Haggard: Scandalous,” episodes of the TLC series “Cell Block 6,” Animal Planet’s “My Extreme Animal Phobia” and TruTV’s “The Wiener’s Circle.”
Also serving as exec producer is Michael Davies — the exec producer of GSN’s “The Newlywed Game” as well as Andy Cohen’s late-night talk show on Bravo.
“The American Bible Challenge” was just one of several new shows in various stages of development or greenlit-ness outlined to advertisers by GSN’s new programming chief, Amy Introcaso-Davis. Also in the works are a series called “Pure Gold,” about people trying to sell their gold things to a national chain of gold buyers, and a show about a car dealership in Middlebury, Vt., where “trade-in” can mean anything from coffins to pigs.
Another potential series, “I Do, Now I Don’t,” follows a New York business that buys and sells secondhand engagement rings — each with a backstory of love gone wrong.
And “Crowning Glory” will celebrate the world of “alternative pageants.” Think Miss Klingon Empire and a Zombie Pin-Up competition.
After seeing Tuesday night’s dismal ratings, Fox has decided that America hates its teenage daughters even more than their mothers and has pulled the sitcom effective immediately.
“I Hate My Teenage Daughter” had been slated to head to Summer Burnoff Theatre anyway but not until after its April 3 telecast. Instead, Fox has decided that it could do better with repeats of “Raising Hope” in the Tuesday-at-8:30-p.m. time slot for the next two weeks.
Yet “Teenage Daughter” — which attracted 2.9 million viewers — was not Fox’s worst-performing show Tuesday night. At 9:30 p.m., “Breaking In” attracted 2.8 million. It did only slightly better than “Daughters” among 18-to-49-year-old viewers, but still scored less than half the crowd of the Fox comedy “New Girl” on that night.
Fox’s “Teenage Daughter” decision was bad news for ABC’s time-slot competitor, “Cougar Town,” which generated its biggest audience (4.4 million) since its season debut five weeks earlier. ABC boasted Wednesday that “Cougar Town” had “ towered” over Fox’s competing comedy Tuesday night, with 52 percent more viewers — 33 percent among the coveted 18-to-49-year-olds.
‘30 Rock’ goes live
The NBC comedy series “30 Rock” will do another live episode — on the first Thursday of the May “sweep” ratings derby.
The last time “30 Rock” did a live episode, back in October 2010, it scored 6.6 million viewers — a nice jump from the 5 million of the previous week. This season to date, the series is averaging 4.8 million viewers. And even more than in 2010, NBC is struggling for ways to grow its numbers, particularly during sweep ratings periods.
The idea for the show’s first live episode sprang from a live, staged reading that the program gave much earlier at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York during a fundraiser for the Writers Guild strike fund.
But live prime-time episodes were nothing new at NBC. Way back in September 1997, the season debut of “E.R.” was performed live. It gathered nearly 43 million viewers, which was about 22 percent better than the non-live season-debut audience of 35 million one year earlier.
Yes, that’s how many people used to watch NBC.
To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/