TODAY   |  February 16, 2013

Buy a proverb? Bible game show a hit

It’s almost time for the second season of "The American Bible Challenge," a Bible game show. Host Jeff Foxworthy says, “If you don’t know your Bible, you don’t have a prayer.” Rock Center's Harry Smith reports.

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>>> coming up, a tv show that's become a surprise hit. you might think a game show about the bible wouldn't necessarily attract a lot of viewers, but you're wrong. rock center's harry smith went to los angeles to find out what in heaven is going on.

>> reporter: this is a painted -- soup cans.

>> yeah. andy warhol .

>> yes!

>> reporter: since 1995 , gsn, the game show network , has been a kind of guilty pleasure for those of us who enjoy watching remix and reruns of classic quiz shows.

>> what do you say, rajjer?

>> i said --

>> what to watch on tv.

>> yeah.

>> reporter: the network never had a hit on its schedule until last summer.

>> who welcomed the prodigal son home --

>> reporter: it's called "the american bible challenge." for gsn it's heaven sent .

>> his father?

>> right.

>> reporter: 13 million watched the show last season. while those aren't exactly super bowl numbers, for gsn, this is big-time stuff.

>> credited with writing what chapter in proverbs?

>> 31.

>> correct.

>> reporter: it's a kind of biblical trivial pursuit. three teams of three contestants answered questions based on scripture.

>> jesus paid the temple tax with a coin found in the mouth of what? matt?

>> a fish?

>> reporter: if it feels like "are you smarter than a sunday school teacher ," there's jeff foxworthy who was reluctant to get involved at first.

>> i said, i got to think about this. here was my first thought is i didn't want to be in line at hell going, the game show , right? the game show .

>> reporter: foxworthy grew upon a baptist but now attends a nondenominational evangelical church near atlanta. he's been leading bible studies with homeless people for 15 years.

>> it looks to me like you're very comfortable with the material.

>> yeah.

>> reporter: is your bible knowledge that broad, that deep?

>> it's pretty good. no -- remember the rainy into god's promise never to do it by a flood again. i'm one of those weird guys. i mean, i'm not a big fan of organized religion . but i love god . start the clock now.

>> reporter: because it really is a game show , there are prizes. winning teams get $20,000 each episode. but there's $100,000 for the tournament champion. all prize money , however, goes to the winning team's charity of choice. [ cheers ]

>> having a baby at the age of 90, memaw. just saying. nothing's out of the realm of possibility here.

>> reporter: most pastors aren't as funny as foxworthy. he assured us he's not trying to compete in that arena. he knows his limitations.

>> when i started hosting "fifth grader," people certainly thought i was smarter than i was, you know. and i would say, hey, if i didn't have the cards -- the shortest show on television. and now i'm doing this and people think, well, this guy has all the spiritual answers in the world. i'm like, no, i'm still the samsame idi idiot. still two decision was drywalling, you know.

>> reporter: for "today," harry smith , los