Praying for syndication

Holy rollout: A bible gameshow

Spurred by the popularity of “Touched by an Angel,” television is about to roll out “Touched by a Contestant.”

Actually, the title of the new Bible-themed gameshow being readied for national syndication is “In the Beginning,” dubbed as a “nondenominational” quiz program that’s poised for introduction at the NATPE convention in January and a hoped-for rollout in April ’98.

Produced by ITV Prods. in association with Hollywood Pacific Studios, “In the Beginning” promises to be something on the order of “Theological Pursuit,” inviting teams of contestants from churches and synagogues to that showbiz hotbed, South Bend, Ind., to answer queries about the Good Book (“I’ll take ‘Cain & Abel’ for $60, Alex”).

Two different versions of the series — one aimed at kids and one at adults — will be produced. Prizes will be donated to outreach programs and charities.

Plan is to eventually market the adult “In the Beginning” as a daily strip, citing a recent Gallup Poll indicating that 87% of Christians and Jews stress that the Bible is important to their lives. That importance may or may not extend to the Book of Syndication.

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