05 January 2006

NBC: Nothin' But Christ

It seems as though a few NBC affiliates from where else but the Bible Belt will be boycotting the new 'Book of Daniel' show. (See It Now.) This should come as a surprise to exactly no one, but let's just have a little legal flashback:

Who remembers the last network show to be boycotted by affiliates? We remember it being 'NYPD Blue' in its premiere season. And how did that work out for all involved? Try 82 Emmy nominations, 19 awards, central character and star (Sipowicz/Franz,) become inarguable first-ballot TV hall of famers, Bocchco rises from very successful to legendary, Caruso regrets leaving early.

And for the affiliates? We know BeloCorp's WFAA in DFW participated in the boycott for a while, but a UHF station in Dallas gladly took the orphan drama and got its best ratings ever, which eventually made WFAA jealous and cash-minded enough to flip-flop and carry the show. Other affiliates did as well. We have no way of knowing if 'Daniel' will approach 'Blue's level of quality, from the previews we'd suspect not, (TV quality is nearly an oxymoron anyway,) but we do know that corporations, which are in the business of making money, not moralising, almost always regret bowing to this kind of pressure from America's enduring puritan subculture (and it is a sub-culture.)

Also, from our extensive knowledge of the history of Monty Python, we can concur in Graham Chapman's judgment, (re: 'Life Of Brian') that only sad morons protest an entertainment they have never seen. For all we know 'Book of Daniel' could be the next Joan of Arcadia/Touched by an Angel/Highway to Heaven. Granted it doesn't look like peaceful pablum for Pat Robertson's pew-fillers, but that's just the point, we don't know yet. Anyone claiming to know is lying, and we seem to recall that Jesus frowned on lying. We would 'call hypocrisy' on the protesters, but that's a four syllable word, so they don't know what it means.

And we do fall back on a salient theological point we've been trying to make for the past 10 years: If Jesus were around today, he'd want nothing to do with Pat Robertson and the people who hold up signs saying 'God hates fags'. Jesus didn't hang with those types back in his day, nor would he now. He'd be out at the bars at night, befriending hookers and the homeless, and yes, doubt-plagued ministers with gay drug-dealing kids.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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