If you've been watching NBC lately, you may have seen the network's promos for the "New NBC, coming in January." In other words, their fall schedule tanked, so they're rolling out lots of new shows next month, in a desperate bid to attract more viewers.
The centerpiece of NBC's revised prime time schedule is a series called The Book of Daniel. The show follows the lives of a drug-addicted Episcopalian priest and his family, including a semi-alcoholic wife, and a 23-year-old Log Cabin Republican son. As he wrestles with issues of morality, sexuality and faith, the priest has regular conversations with a modern incarnation of Jesus. Borrowing a phrase from the late Jack Paar, "I kid you not."
This is all supposed to be edgy and provocative, words that TV programmers like to use, especially when they need a hit to hand onto their job. Will Daniel attract an audience? We won't know until the show joins the NBC line-up. Not surprisingly, at least one gay community outlet thinks The Book of Daniel is going to be boffo. The American Family Association has serious doubts about the show. So do I. Daniel doesn't represent any Christian family I know and besides, when TV tries to tackle the subject of faith, why do usually depict "believers" that belong to main-line Protestant denominations, or the Catholic Church. Evagelicals represent the fastest-growing segment of Christianity in America, but you won't see them in primetime, except as the object of derision and scorn.