NBC Closes the Book on Daniel

There's word out of Hollywood that NBC has cancelled its controversial series The Book of Daniel &#0151 and the pro-family group that played a prominent role in directing consumers' complaints to the network about the program is crediting those who took a stand for family values.

According to a report in WorldNetDaily, the new Friday night series has been cancelled “effective immediately.” The report quotes the show's creator, Jack Kenny, who says “due to many reasons,” the program will no longer air. The show had been criticized by family and Christian activists for its depiction of a pill-popping Episcopal priest, his unbelievably-dysfunctional family, and a recurring appearance of a “Jesus” character described as “sardonic” by Focus on the Family.

But despite the network's hype leading up to the series' premier on January 6, one NBC affiliate after another began either choosing not to air the program at all &#0151 or dropped it after the first episode. That reaction may have been the result of a campaign launched by the Mississippi-based American Family Association, which urged families to register their disapproval of the program with their local affiliates as well as with advertisers.

Eventually, most companies pulled their ads, leaving the network to foot most of the bill. As WND puts it: “Advertisers ran from it… [and] so did viewers.”

The program's creator had harsh words for AFA for standing against Daniel. “AFA and bullies like them are hard at work to try and prevent you from seeing these beautiful shows,” Kenny posted on a supportive blog site. “[T]hat is censorship, pure and simple &#0151 and that is both un-Christian and un-American.”

But AFA says it shows the “power of the pocketbook.” The network, asserts AFA chairman Donald E. Wildmon, decided it did not want eat any more economic losses.

“Had NBC not had to eat millions of dollars each time it aired, [the network] would have kept Daniel alive,” Wildmon says in a press release. “But when the sponsors dropped the program, NBC decided it didn't want to continue the fight.”

Obviously pleased with the show's cancellation, Wildmon &#0151 a long-time veteran in the battle for “family-friendly” television programming &#0151 says those who communicated their displeasure about the program's content struck a chord that advertisers and NBC understand.

“This shows the average American that he doesn't have to simply sit back and take the trash being offered on TV,” the AFA founder says, “but he can get involved and fight back with his pocketbook.”

And Wildmon gives credit where he believes credit is due. “We want to thank the 678,394 individuals who sent e-mails to NBC and the thousands who called and e-mailed their local affiliates,” he adds.

Wildmon had predicted recently that the network was losing between two and three million dollars each time it aired an episode &#0151 and that with those kinds of losses, NBC might decide to cancel the show altogether.

(This article courtesy of Agape Press.)

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