Will NBC's "Book Of Daniel" Continue Their Slide Into Low Ratings?
NBC has been plagued by rotten ratings this year. Bad management took the excellent THIRD WATCH and LAW AND ORDER: TRIAL BY JURY and replaced them with the syrupy shlock of Amy Grant's THREE WISHES, and the inconceivably bad, INCONCEIVABLE. The evening with topped off with a LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT rerun. The geniuses at NBC sure knew how to throw this evening away. CBS built a tight Friday night schedule, while NBC conspired against their own best interests to make their Friday a very weak night of programming.
NBC based their planning of Friday programming on some terriblely flawed notions. They decided that since CBS had JOAN OF ARCADIA, they needed a "Christian" oriented program, so former Christian singer Amy Grant was called into duty in a bit of reality programming that likely has weak appeal to most Christians as well as men. And INCONVEIVABLE was like putting a slab a kryptonite on Friday to keep male viewers away in droves. The problem with both THREE WISHES is that there was so little interest on a Christian program on network television, that the critically acclaimed CBS program was cancelled by CBS, wher the far darker GHOST WHISPER draws in far more milions of viewers. NBC decided to go after a market that does not really exist, attempting to capture the audience of a failed "Christian" oriented program. Viewers that want to see a Christian program stick with PAX or TBN, or compromise their values and watch what everyone else is watching on other networks.
That brings us to the latest lapse of judgement over at NBC. THE BOOK OF DANIEL certainly looks like it is funny in the low rent sense of MY NAME IS EARL. But what gives this turkey a near certain kiss of death, is the absolutely awful portrayal of Jesus that is sure to offend the public. The nonsense lives of the actors in the program are fine. But a terrible portrayal of Jesus will create a real firestorm and public anger.
Over at the far right, American Family Association, bad publicity is starting for THE BOOK OF DANIEL. But antisemite AMA, Rev. Donald Wildmon would have a G rated world of entertainment if given the opportunity to decide for everyone else. His organization is far all intents and purposes, the "American Taliban". But I fully expect even Christians who wouldn't give the AMA the time of day will join efforts to protest THE BOOK OF DANIEL.
What is NBC thinking? The American public doesn't want to see an absurd portrayal of Jesus each week. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST proved the very respectful portrayal of Jesus that the American public expects. On MY NAME IS EARL, the program is a hit because it is edgy and the characters are lowlifes and criminals that are hilarious. The viewing public will laugh at people like this. But any low rent Jesus character will not fly with the public.
Any low rent Jesus portrayal in a program with characters hardly better than the shirtless moron characters of EARL is a recipe for a showdown of public anger and backlash directed at NBC.
Jesus deserves a great deal of respect. The viewing public will roundly reject this BOOK OF DANIEL program. Why NBC ever decided to take down the excellent THIRD WATCH and LAW AND ORDER:TRIAL BY JURY, and walk down the path of INCONCEIVABLE, THREE WISHES and now, THE BOOK OF DANIEL is beyond normal human comprehension.
It seems the pathway to ratings hell for NBC is paved with good intentions gone bad.