TV programs with religious, often Bible-based, themes are scoring high ratings, reports Charisma News Service (Nov. 13).
NBC began broadcasting “In the Beginning,” advertised as “From Creation to the Commandments” in November to garner big ratings for the November sweeps. The other major networks are using the same strategy. Next year, CBS will be airing “Adam & Eve” and NBC is developing a miniseries based on an account of Mary Magdalene.
In December, the cable station A&E will show a four-hour documentary titled “Christianity: The Second Millennium,” which is a follow-up to its investigation of Christianity’s first 1,000 years, which drew more than 10 million viewers, according to a report first appearing in the Los Angeles Times.
Though some were not critically acclaimed, recent religious-themed programs have attracted large viewerships. “The Life of Jesus Christ” on CBS (21.6 million viewers) and “Noah’s Ark” (30.9 million viewers on average) on NBC got the highest ratings among TV movies of the last two years. Steve White of NBC says that “Everyone watches these stories.
Maybe not all the people in every demographic but definitely some in each. That’s the definition of broad appeal or broadcasting” — a factor that draws advertising dollars. Garth Ancier, NBC’s president of entertainment, said the ratings may reflect a need for continuing validation of Judeo-Christian beliefs. Like medical or legal dramas, he says, the programming presents heroes with a strong moral beliefs.
(Charisma News Service, firstname.lastname@example.org)