In honor of next year's Summer Games, Game Show Network and National Lampoon
are teaming up to produce a competition featuring fraternities and sororities vying in absurd sports, like the "pita-bread discus toss" and "Greek olive oil wrestling."
Timing their spoof event to coincide with the quadrennial competition taking place in Athens, Greece, GSN and the Lampoon
will debut the preliminary televised National Lampoon's Greek Games
in May on National Lampoon Network.
That college cable network is carried on cable and direct-broadcast satellite in more than 600 schools and university communities, reaching some 4.6 million students.
National Lampoon's Greek Games
will culminate in early July with a two-hour GSN special, featuring two fraternities and two sororities. The groups, chosen by sending in videotapes demonstrating their "National Lampoon
style of sportsmanship," will vie for the title of Greek Game Champion.
"Greece really is the word in this case," GSN president Rich Cronin said in a prepared statement. "We're calling on Greek organizations at colleges and universities to take this seriously, even if we don't, because we're looking at the Greek Games
to become an annual event."
GSN executives came up with the idea for their Greek Games
during a brainstorming session at a retreat in Las Vegas, Cronin said last week. GSN was looking for an idea that would drum up the kind of attention in 2004 that it got with its Who Wants to Be Governor of California?
programming this year.
And playing off the Summer Games, which most Americans will probably be talking about, "just seemed like such a natural," Cronin said.
The Greek Games will mark the second partnership for GSN and National Lampoon, who teamed on the jointly produced comedy-game series National Lampoon's Funny Money, which airs weekends at 11 p.m.