Terry Morrow: GSN's 'Bible' plucks blandness from trivia

Jeff Foxworthy is host of "The American Bible Challenge," which is a lot more fun than the title would suggest.

Jeff Foxworthy is host of "The American Bible Challenge," which is a lot more fun than the title would suggest.

Don't let the bland name fool you. In the case of "The American Bible Challenge," don't judge lest you be judged.

Or something like that.

The latest original offering from GSN (the channel most people still call Game Show Network) is a trivia question-and-answer game about the Bible. The very thought of such a concept conjures images of Stepford-like children contestants and a straight-laced game show host, clad in a black suit and skinny tie, shot in black and white.

But "Bible" (premiering 8 p.m. Thursday) isn't like that. It's a little like "Family Feud," "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and a tad of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Three teams of three contestants test their knowledge of the Good Book.

"Bible" is well produced. Host Jeff Foxworthy adds an accessibility, and the game moves swiftly.

It tries very hard not to be stuffy (one category called "Faithbook" has contestants guessing what made-up status updates biblical characters might have on today's Facebook).

The questions are fairly difficult, sometimes too much so. The "revelation" round at the end of each show features particularly tough queries.

Folks like us who live in the notch of the Bible belt will be stumped.

The contestants play for charity and can win $20,000 at the end of every episode. A tournament at season end will have past winners play for $100,000 for their charities.

Each episode opens with heart-tugging introductions of the contestants and why their charities are important to them. It's a refreshing and warm way to display Christian attributes like charity.

"Bible" is the ultimate feel-good game show because, at its heart, it means well. Now if only we could change that name.

Score: 3 stars (out of five)

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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