Friday, January 06, 2006

Our Local NBC Affiliate Flip Flops


KSNW reverses decision to pull 'Book of Daniel'
NBC's new program "" will air at 8 p.m. tonight as originally scheduled on KSNW, Channel 3 [Wichita, KS] -- one day after Channel 3 said it would not air the show because of complaints that it was offensive to Christians.

Channel 3 decided to pull the program Thursday after complaints from church groups. But hundreds of calls and emails poured into the station Friday morning, prompting a change. Channel 3 programmer Betty Erickson said she was notified by e-mail at 11 a.m. today that the program would air after all.

"We heard from both sides and decided to let viewers have a voice in determining the value of this program," Erickson said. She said the decision affected only the two-hour pilot. No decision will be made about continuing the series until after hearing viewer reactions, Erickson said.

The new series stars as an Episcopal minister who struggles to be a good husband, father and minister while trying to control a nagging addiction to prescription painkillers and an often rocky relationship with church hierarchy.

The minister also has personal conversations with a human incarnation of Jesus while dealing with his dysfunctional family, including one child who sells drugs, one who is promiscuous and one who is gay.
The Wichita Eagle came out with the story this morning that KSN was not going to air the show. Now they are. I'm glad they got that straight before a major news wire picked up the story of our local flip flop. For instance, the Washington Post mentions a couple of affiliates which refused to air the show. Hope they stood their ground.

But the best news I've read is Post columnist Tom Shale's review in which he calls the show A Mean-Spirited, Unholy Mess.
I cannot recall a series in which a greater number of characters seemed so desperately detestable -- a series with a larger population of loathsome dolts. There ought to be a worse punishment than cancellation for a show that tries this hard to be offensive and, even at that crass task, manages to fail.
Thank you, Tom. You make a great point. And this is why most shows or movies that purposely set out to be offensive to believers will almost always fail. They're simply bad. Think The Last Temptation of Christ. Boring. Banal. If Christians hadn't made a hoopla over it, the movie would have died a quicker death than it did.

I admit, I wrote a polite email to KSN asking them not to air 'Daniel' - and even called them this morning to thank them for taking a stand. I knew something was up, though, when the receptionist told me she'd already received 50 some phone calls against their decision (meaning, these people wanted to see the show) and only 5 callers who applauded their decision.

Thus the reversal. Controversy sells.

Look, if we're going to take the time to protest, then let's take the time to appreciate. I hate it when society at large sees more evidence that people of faith seem to be always against something negative rather than for something positive. Yes, we should take a stand. But let's do it with dignity, with respect, all the while bringing creative solutions/alternatives to the table.

More on the subject: Read blogs4God and Biblical Theology; also read TF Stern's The Book of Damn You All and The Blog of Daniel (sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington)
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