Defying skeptics and attracting TV viewers yearning for inspiration, the premiere episode of Jeff Foxworthy’s American Bible Challenge game show shattered all records for the Game Show Network.
“GSN’s highly anticipated original series garnered the network’s highest delivery in its 17-year history with 2.3 million total viewers for the night and 1.7 million total viewers for its series premiere at 8 pm ET on Thursday,” reported the TV News Desk of the industry website Broadway World.
“Thursday night’s premiere was a mega-hit debuting as the #1 program on GSN — EVER!” reported a network spokesperson.
The show, hosted by the folksy commedian Foxworthy, outperformed GSN’s previous record by over half a million viewers and “solidified itself as a destination program by posting triple digit gains from its strong lead-in across all demos,” reported GSN in network jargon. Compared to other shows it its time slot, the original series ranked among the Top 5 cable networks in total viewers, women 25-54 and viewers 25-54 in its time period.
“The best-selling book of all time is now GSN’s most viewed program of all time, which proves that consumers are yearning for fun, family- friendly entertainment,” said Amy Introcaso-Davis, the network’s executive vice president of programming and development. “We are incredibly proud of this show and are happy that it connected with so many viewers. This Bible-based show is a first, and we expect not the last, for mainstream television.
“There were naysayers, there were doubters,” she admitted.
Indeed, viewers apparently weren’t swayed by the Washington Post‘s yawning review: “is just as dull as it sounds, like mandatory fun time at Sunday School.”
Fortunately, New York Daily News‘ TV reviewer David Hinckley disagreed: “Anyone who knows even a little about the Bible will be unable to resist playing along and matching answers with the teams on the screen.”
“Never under-estimate the appeal of Foxworthy,” said the Atlanta Constitution‘s Rodney Ho. “Foxworthy adds a level of comfort and humor that is light, but not disrespectful of the contestants or the topics at hand,” who predicted that GSN may have a “hit for many years to come.”
Click here for Foxworthy, Charities Team up for American Bible Challenge.
The first season continues for the next nine weeks until a winning team is crowned and goes home with $100,000 for their charity. Tune-in to GSN every Thursday night at 8pm/7pm Central to see who will make it to the finale!