The Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a drama series that aired on NBC about an unconventional Episcopal priest and his dysfunctional family. Although the series was initially advertised as a serious drama about Christians and faith, by the time the show aired it had become apparent that the producers had taken a much lighter approach to the matter, even including Jesus as kind of a hip sidekick.
Once the advertising changed to reflect the show's actual style, many Christian groups stood in opposition of the series. The American Family Association, a conservative Christian group, accused NBC of being anti-Christian and objected to the positive portrayal of homosexuality (as well as the fact that the series creator, Jack Kenny, is openly gay). Other groups like Focus on the Families took offense to the portrayal of Jesus (although many spokespeople admitted to be basing their offense off of commercials they had seen and not the actual show itself).
Although there was a great deal of opposition, several liberal Episcopal clergy members praised the show for giving the church a more real face. In one instance, Rev. Susan Russell commented that "How surprising might it be to many who tune in to find out there actually is a church where women can be bishops – clergy can be human – and there's enough good news around to extend to everybody?" Although, this point was commonly dismissed by the opposing groups as being a "hypocritical" and "contradictory" view of the church.
Eventually the series was cancelled on January 20, 2006, after a mere four episodes. Although NBC did not give a statement on why the series was cancelled, it can be presumed that the controversy was a major factor. Before the series was officially cancelled, eight affiliates (including WSMV, the NBC affiliate for Nashville, TN) refused to air the series and the network reportedly had difficulty selling advertising for the hour.
The final three episodes of the series were made available online until February 10, 2006 when the finale was streamed.
|Aidan Quinn||Rev. Daniel Webster||1|
|Susanna Thompson||Judith Webster||1|
|Christian Campbell||Peter Webster||1|
|Ivan Shaw||Adam Webster||1|
|Alison Pill||Grace Webster||1|
|Garret Dillahunt||Jesus Christ||1|
|Dylan Baker||Roger Northrup||1|
|Ellen Burstyn||Dr. Beatrice Congreve||1|
|Season One||January 6, 2006||January 20, 2006||7|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
|The Complete Series||September 26, 2006||2|