NBC will be airing the new reality TV gameshow "Don't Get Left Behind," based on the popular series of Left Behind books. The show's contestants, a group of 20 God-fearing Christians, are placed in a 10 mile by 10 mile stretch of deserted wasteland in Utah, painstakingly made to look like a part of an abandoned city. The group is told they have to survive for a month, relying only on their intelligence, ability, and manna that falleth from heaven. The winning contestant will earn the prize of eternal salvation, valued at approximately $50,000.
The group is presented with several tasks each episode, such as building a shelter, finding fresh water, and fending off hordes of the servants of the Antichrist, the show's "antagonist." Additionally, the producers plan to "spice things up" with a series of challenges. These challenges range from shooting at targets with a rifle to a prayer-a-thon, where players see who can pray the longest.
Players are rated on both their contributions to the group and individual performances on tasks. Based on these ratings, the remaining contestants are called into a room at the end of each episode where a booming voice from above states who among them is saved, and who is not. In the tradition of "The council has spoken," and "You are the weakest link," the catchphrase "You are not worthy to enter the Kingdom of Heaven" has already become a pop culture sensation. Players eliminated from the game, or "damned" in the show's lingo, return later as servants of the Antichrist to try and foil their former teammates' plans.
Unsurprisingly, the decision to air this show was met with no small amount of controversy, from within the religious community and without. In response to criticism that the show's premise is inaccurate, inappropriate, and discriminatory, the producers released the following statement:
"Fine, whatever. Look, if this show works out, we'll be able to do spin-offs for every religion. You want a Lutheran one where they compete by making hotdishes? Sure. A Catholic one where they see who feels the most guilt? Fine! Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, they're all on the slate. We've even got a subjectivist atheist one planned where contestants just do whatever the hell they want."
The show's premier will air at 6:00 PM on September 30, this fall.