Christian TV talent show set for fall

Trinity Broadcasting Network plans October debut of ‘Gifted,’ its version of ‘American Idol’

ORLANDO, Fla. — The management company that represents Britney Spears and’N Sync is searching for a divine voice.

“Gifted,” a Christian version of the popular “American Idol” TV show, is scheduled to debut in October on Trinity Broadcasting Network, the Costa Mesa-based conglomerate that features such well-known evangelists as Benny Hinn.

TBN: The Blasphemy Network

Trintiy Broadcasting Network (TBN), led by founders Paul and Jan Crouch, is the world’s largest religious TV network. It claims to be a Christian ministry.

However, while some legitimate ministries and teachers (those who adhere to the orthodox teachings and practices of historical Christianity) appear on TBN, the network promotes such an incredible amount of heretical material – including extremist Word-Faith teachings – that it is often referred to as “The Blasphemy Network.”

The Orlando-based Wright Entertainment Group is part of a joint venture with Matt Crouch, son of the founders of Trinity Broadcasting Network, to create the talent-search show, Wright spokesman Philip McIntyre said.

McIntyre said the joint venture, called Wright Generation, is negotiating with a private investor to finance the project.

“It is our goal to wrap God’s message — His love — in acceptance, and in a way that blends seamlessly into ‘pop’ culture while still upholding the values we, as Christians, value most,” Wright Generation’s mission statement reads.

A cross-country summer bus tour to 11 Trinity stations is planned, where auditions will be held for singers ages 18 to24. The network reaches 70 million homes.

The tour, scheduled to begin July 26, will stop in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New York, California and Washington state. Contestants will perform gospel or contemporary spiritual songs.

Two finalists will be chosen at each stop. The 24 finalists will be flown to Hollywood, where they will perform before a live studio audience and be evaluated by celebrity judges.

Eight will go on to the finals, where the television audience will choose the winner, whose career will be managed by Wright and Crouch.


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Associated Press, USA
June 26, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday June 26, 2004.
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