The Fox Television Stations this summer will test The Preachers, a faith-based panel talk show produced by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, said Frank Cicha, senior VP, programming, Fox Television Stations, and Ken Werner, president, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution in a statement.
The stations will air the strip for three weeks, starting July 11. WNYW New York and KTTV Los Angeles will air the show, as well as other Fox-owned stations in select markets to be announced later.
The show will be hosted by John Gray, Dr. E. Dewey Smith Jr., Orrick Quick and Dr. Jamal Bryant. Bill Geddie, co-founder and former executive producer of ABC’s The View, will executive produce, as well as former NBC executive Jeff Gaspin and Andrew Glassman. Warner Bros.’ first-run production arm, Telepictures, will produce.
“After The View, I figured I'd never do another panel show, but these preachers knocked me off my feet,” said Geddie in a statement. “They're not just another set of talking heads yakking about the events of the day; they bring real-world experience as pastors and counselors. They have a unique spiritual take on things, and they're funny as hell...I mean, heck!”
Gray comes from Joel Ostend’s Lakewood Church in Houston, where he is associate pastor. Smith is senior pastor at The House of Hope in Atlanta and Macon, Ga., which produces broadcasts that are seen around the world. Quick is pastor and founder of God Seekers Church in High Point, N.C. Bryant is pastor and founder of Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore.
With pastors hailing from markets such as Houston, Atlanta and Baltimore, it’s likely that the show also will be tested on stations in those markets. Fox owns KRIV Houston and WAGA Atlanta, while Sinclair, which also tests shows, owns WBFF Baltimore.
“Our last preview with a preacher went so well, doing one with four seemed like a no-brainer,” said Cicha in a statement. In 2011, Fox tested Debmar-Mercury’s Father Albert, a priest from Miami, but that show didn’t go forward. Tegna will debut another faith-based talk show, T.D. Jakes, on its stations this fall.
“We are thrilled to continue our ongoing relationship with Fox. This latest endeavor features new faces and fresh voices with a unique point of view that is currently not on TV,” said Werner.