Hey, teens, kick this around a bit


(The call is out for eighth-grade competitors for a televised game show)

Being in junior high just got a little more exciting.

WPXT-TV is looking for eighth-grade students for “Kick Start,” a new, half-hour game show. “We’re pulling out all the stops on this one,” said John Marshall, the show’s producer and creative director at WPXT television in Westbrook.

“We’ll use trivia, absurd physical challenges and the occasional gooey mess to find our winners. We’re not looking for the smartest kids necessarily. To win ‘Kick Start,’ you’ll need to be adaptable, courageous and have a good sense of humor – all qualities that make a well-rounded person.”

WPXT plans to broadcast the program in the Portland market and in Bangor, but all current eight-graders in Maine are invited to try out. Casting calls will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Maine Mall in South Portland; and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, at the Bangor Mall. Lewiston-Auburn area eighth-graders can attend a casting call in either Portland or Bangor, not both.

All applicants must bring a current report card, a parent or guardian to sign a release form – and a willingness to have fun.

Twenty students will be selected, four players per game for five shows. The winner of each game will go to the finals. The winner of the finals will receive a $10,000 college scholarship.

“Believe it or not, our goal is to create awareness about preparing for college,” said Marshall. “We’re partnering with the Maine Readiness Campaign to start kids thinking about college and careers. By making the show fun to watch, we hope to have the full attention of our audience.”

“Kick Start” will be shooting late February and airing mid-March. For more information, visit www.kickstartmaine.com.