NBC’s “The Book of Daniel” may have launched to great controversy and hoopla.
But, today, the show ended with a whimper – pulled unceremoniously from NBC’s Friday night schedule, effective immediately, with no more of an announcement than an entry on an NBC blog by creator Jack Kenny.
“Unfortunately, due to many reasons, ‘The Book of Daniel’ will no longer be aired on NBC on Friday nights,” he wrote to fans. “I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ to all of you who supported the show. There were many wonderful, talented people who contributed to its success – and I do mean success. Whatever the outcome, I feel that I accomplished what I set out to do: A solid family drama, with lots of humor, that honestly explored the lives of the Webster family. Good, flawed people, who loved each other no matter what … and there was always a lot of ‘what’! I remain proud of our product, proud of my association with Sony, NBC Universal, and NBC, who all took a chance on a project that spoke to them, and proud to have made an impact on so many of your lives.”
Aidan Quinn as Episcopal priest with Garret Dillahunt as ‘Jesus’ in NBC’s ‘Book of Daniel’
As WorldNetDaily first reported, “The Book of Daniel,” written by a homosexual, was promoted as the only show on television in which Jesus appeared as a recurring character and the only network prime-time drama series with a regular male “gay” character, a 23-year-old Republican son. The main character, Daniel Webster, was a troubled, pill-popping Episcopal priest.
Touted as the riskiest show of the year, it included a wife who relied on midday martinis, a 16-year-old daughter who was a drug dealer and a 16-year-old adopted son who was having sex with the bishop’s daughter. At the office, the priest’s lesbian secretary was sleeping with his sister-in-law.
One NBC affiliate after another dropped the show. Advertisers ran from it. And, apparently, despite all the controversy it generated, so did viewers.
Nashville’s WSMV-TV General Manager Elden Hale, Jr. said: “Based on a review of the first three episodes and the clearly voiced concerns from our viewers, we have determined that the program ‘The Book of Daniel’ is not appropriate for broadcast television in this community.”
After the first three episodes, only Burlington Coat Factory was left as a national sponsor.
AFA Chairman Donald E. Wildmon said NBC’s decision to cancel the program is instructive.
“This shows the average American that he doesn’t have to simply sit back and take the trash being offered on TV, but he can get involved and fight back with his pocketbook,” he said.
The network had to absorb millions of dollars in losses each time it aired the program, Wildmon pointed out, because the show’s sponsors bailed out.
“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 added.
Besides Nashville, other NBC affiliates across the nation either never aired the show or stopped broadcasting it. They included Hattiesburg, Miss.; Meridian, Miss.; Jackson, Miss.; Amarillo, Texas; Wichita, Kan.; Beaumont, Texas; and Terre Haute, Ind.
Only six episodes of the “Book of Daniel” were shot. Kevin Reilly, NBC Entertainment president, said the network’s reluctance to order more episodes had more to do with the series’ sluggish ratings performance than controversy.
“We’re going to continue to put on creative programming, regardless of any possible controversy,” Reilly said last week. Earlier, he announced the cancellation of “West Wing.”
The network has slated an episode of “Law and Order” in place of “Daniel” for this Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern.