December 28, 2005

Religious group puts ‘Daniel’ in lions’ den

By Andrew Wallenstein

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - A conservative watchdog
group is taking issue with NBC about its upcoming midseason
series "The Book of Daniel" for its risqu© depiction of a
fictional Christian community.

The American Family Assn., a longtime critic of irreverent
broadcast television shows dating back to 1970s fare like
"Charlie's Angels," began urging people on its Web site last
week to send e-mails complaining about "Daniel" to NBC
Universal chairman Bob Wright.

The Rev. Donald Wildmon, chairman of the AFA, assailed NBC
for the protagonist in the series, which he describes as a
"drug-addicted Episcopal priest whose wife depends heavily on
her midday martinis." Wildmon also criticizes portrayals of
homosexual characters on the series as well as its "very
unconventional" inclusion of Jesus himself, who is depicted in
"Daniel" in conversations imagined by the priest.

Wildmon's letter calls on Wright to inform NBC affiliates
that they aren't required to air "Daniel," which stars Aidan

"It would be beneficial to all if NBC showed a little more
respect for Christians who believe the Bible," the
association's missive reads.

None of NBC's affiliates have announced plans to pull
"Daniel," though sources indicate some stations have received
e-mail complaints about promos for the series.

"'The Book of Daniel' is a fictional drama about an
Episcopalian priest's family and the contemporary issues with
which they must grapple. We're confident once audiences view
this quality drama themselves, they'll appreciate this
thought-provoking examination of one American family," an NBC
spokesman said.

"Daniel" begins airing January 6 on NBC.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter