A new locally produced game show with a contract to film eight episodes this winter is looking to the community to cast both contestants and a host.
Vernita Griffith of Raleigh is the producer of “After the I Do’s,” a take on the old “Newlywed Game” TV show format which quizzes married couples about how well they really know each other. After two successful live shows last year — one in Clayton and one in Raleigh — Griffith has a contract to produce the game as a TV program.
The casting call for married couples and a host will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 26 and 3 to 7 p.m. Jan. 27 at 3825 Barrett Drive in Raleigh. The audition will take contestants and hosts through mock rounds of the show.
Griffith, a program director at the Family Resource Center in Raleigh for 20 years, has no background in producing game shows or shows of any kind, really, but she didn’t let lack of experience stop her. Griffith got the idea while on a cruise with her husband, Ken, after noticing that the “Not So Newlywed Game” shows on the ship were always crowded. She thought, “We should do this game show” — and so she did it.
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Let’s put on a show
For the first show in Clayton, Griffith partnered with a friend who had a business planning games for small groups. They didn’t have any money, but they just “trudged along,” Griffith said, and asked people with various expertise to help out: they found a host and someone to help with lighting; a friend built a table which Griffith covered with fabric; then she found an electronic game board that projects to a screen; they hired a DJ.
About 300 people attended that first show at the Clayton Center, prompting Griffith to do a second show at Duke Energy Center in Raleigh. A producer for CW22 was at that show, and he was impressed. The Raleigh show had comedy and audience prizes, and featured all pastors and their spouses. All participants won a trip to a marriage retreat, and the top winners also got a $1,000 donation to their favorite charity.
“The producer said ‘you need to be on TV,’ so now we’re doing it for television — starting slow and learning as I go,” Griffith said.
On Feb. 16, they’ll shoot two episodes of “After the I Do’s” at a studio in Durham, and then two more dates with three shows filming each time. There will be a small live audience, made up of about 40 friends and family members of the contestants.
For the show’s host, Griffith is looking for someone who is “not only hilariously funny and engaging, but clean and can keep the show moving.” She wants couples with good personalities who can bring funny moments while answering the questions honestly.
The show will debut Feb. 21 on CW22, broadcasting to Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham, Johnston, Franklin, Person and Cumberland counties.
‘Good, clean comedy’
Griffith says she’s been energized by the whole experience, and it has inspired her to make some big changes.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “I even gave my notice at my job. This is big. I want to do something different.”
Griffith is also excited about what she thinks the show can contribute.
“I think it’s needed,” she said. “It’s good, clean comedy and it’s fun. I really want married couples to enjoy each other and for people to see that married couples can enjoy each other.”
Griffith has a team of people who help her come up with questions. “They have to be edgy, but not too edgy, and still funny.”
Griffith and her husband have been married 21 years, and she thinks if the two of them were on the show, they’d do well.
“I think we’d do pretty good,” she said. “We’ve been married a minute. He knows me. We’ve done marriage ministry together and had to learn each other, and we’re both open to exposing things about ourselves.
“I’d be scared of some of the stuff he’d say. He can say a little too much sometimes.”
Learn more about the show at aftertheidosshow.com.