Network TV struggles to understand: What will Christians watch?

You already know that The Book of Daniel has been euthanized (one instance in which I approve of a mercy killing).

But you gotta read this Slate article about the challenge of making meaningful television, and the mysterious science of learning what Christians will watch. Some of the stuff there will probably be old news to you, but it’s worth it for the last part, where things get really interesting.

(Thanks, Russ, for the link.)

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet departed the Patheos network in order to escape click-bait advertisements that were offending him and his readers. He will re-launch Looking Closer at lookingcloser.org soon. He is the author of The Auralia Thread, a four-volume fantasy series that begins with Auralia's Colors, and a memoir of "dangerous moviegoing" called Through a Screen Darkly. He teaches creative writing and film studies; speaks internationally about art and faith; served as Writer-in-Residence at Covenant College; and is employed by Seattle Pacific University as a project manager, copyeditor, and writer.

  • Trent

    Another top ten movie? What is that? Five already this year, and the summer blockbuster season isn’t even here yet. I’m sure there’ll be dozens of Hollywood films vieing for the top spot come summer, like…like…

    Um. Is there anything interesting coming out this summer?

  • popechild

    Good review – I was looking forward to seeing it until I read this disconcerting comment from our friends over at Movieguide. “Five or six obscenities… plus character passes gas in one scene….”

    As if movies weren’t despicable enough already, now they’ve got characters passing gas!!

    Count me in. :)

    (Oh, and while I typically really appreciate reviews not giving too much away in the form of spoilers, I don’t know if you’re going to be able to prevent people from learning the central plot twist in this one – they spell it out right smack in the middle of the trailer!)

  • Nicholas

    I’m really glad this guy mentioned Rescue Me–one of the absolute best and underrated/underrepresented shows on TV. Tommy Gavin was talking to an actual Jesus (albeit a hallucination brought on by alcoholism) long before “Daniel” did, and hardly anyone seemed to notice.

  • Thom

    What I find funny is that while the show looks like it was really axed to poor ratings (people took the old adage of “if you don’t like it-don’t watch!” to heart…and proved it works), you have Donald Wildmon and other activists taking CREDIT for the cancellation, feeding the fuel to the folks who want to credit some Christian conspiracy against the show.

  • Ellen Collison

    “Idea” shows: one of my favorites was “I’ll Fly Away.” Good acting, intelligent plots and scriptwriting, plenty of food for thought. But that was a decade ago. I never quite understood how it got on network TV in the first place, and think it was a million-to-one shot.

    It would be nice to see something that “smart” (partly meaning “not condescending to viewers”) again on network TV. But I’m not holding my breath…


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