Five TVs Drop 1st Chapter of Daniel

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Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association (AFA), which has been lobbying stations to drop NBC's limited drama, The Book of Daniel, says five stations did so for Friday's two-hour premiere.

The confirmed no-shows are KBTV Beaumont, Texas; Tupelo's WTVA, which ran infomercials instead according to the programming department; WGBC Meridian, Miss., which aired a Star Trek rerun and a syndicated skating special; and Nexstar's WTWO Terre Haute, Ind., and KARK Little Rock, Ark. In Little Rock, the WB affiliate picked up the broadcast. Nexstar COO Duane Lammers has said the move was in response to viewer reaction to promos, not AFA's campaign.

No word yet on whether those five will continue to preempt the show. Lammers said last week he would screen the pilot in-house and then decide.

AFA, which has recently become more active in rallying members to protest TV content, asked members to e-mail stations and the network to protest the show, which AFA felt mocked Christianity and had inappropriate storylines including a drug-selling daughter, a sexually active son, a gay son, and various plotlines including affairs by Bishops and prescription drug abuse by an Episcopal priest.

NBC has defended the show, which opened to mixed reviews, saying: "We're confident that, once audiences view this quality drama themselves, they'll appreciate this thought-provoking examination of one American family."

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