The American Family Association (up until 1988 the Federation for Decency), which has recently ramped up its efforts to target TV programming it finds offensive, is calling on its members to e-mail NBC and their local affiliate asking them not to air The Book of Daniel, and to put affiliate contact numbers and station call letters in their church bulletins.
In an e-mail alert with the subject line "Tell Your Local NBC Station To Refuse The Book of Daniel," AFA included an online complaint form directed at NBC Chairman Bob Wright.
The object of the campaign is the new midseason drama (debuting Friday, Jan. 6, at 8 p.m.), about a prescription drug-addicted Episcopal minister, Daniel Webster (Aidan Quinn), who occasionally talks to Jesus as he tries to cope with a gay son, a wife with a predilection for midday martinis, a troubled daughter, and the church heirarchy.
NBC ordered 13 episodes last summer, when NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly called it a "challenging new series" in the net's search for "different, out-of-the-box projects."
The show focuses on a reverend played by Quinn as "a man of faith in this off-center world where nothing is sacred." The series also contains a "contemporary Jesus" (Garret Dillahunt, Deadwood) who only appears to the reverend.
At press time the show was still on the schedule at WTVA, the NBC affiliate serving AFA's home base of Tupelo, Miss.
Elsewhere on the religious programming front, ABC has already caught a little flack from the Parent's Television Council for Boston Legal's recent portrayal of a Catholic Priest who was counterfeiting Papal indulgences and protecting a pedophile (per the sanctity of the confessional). “These examples [others included South Park and Denis Leary Christmas shows on Comedy Central] clearly show that Hollywood treats religious icons with utter disrespect," said PTC President Brent Bozell last week.