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By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 17, 2005

Not -- appearances to the contrary -- a spoof:

A new television drama featuring the struggles of an Episcopal priest with family, church politics and Jesus, his mentor and friend, and even his own nagging reliance on painkillers, is planned for the NBC 2005-2006 mid-season line-up. "This challenging new series is our first announced drama for mid-season as we continue to seek different, out-of-the-box projects," said Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment, when announcing the new series. "The Book of Daniel is bold and surprising storytelling told by a great cast led by Aidan Quinn," Reilly added.

Out-of-the-box? I predict an immanent career change for Mr. Reilly: selling pirated VHS tapes of My Mother the Car outside the East St. Louis Trailways Station.

The new series also offers the Episcopal Church a rare product placement opportunity at a time when TIVO devices make it possible to excise paid commercials from home viewing. In 2004, the value of television product placements (a product or brand name inserted for marketing purposes into entertainment fare) increased by 46.4 percent over the year before, to $1.88 billion, according to the research firm PQ Media.

And yet, in spite of the above, the Nigerian bishops still don't take ECUSA seriously! Can you beat that?

A pilot episode for The Book of Daniel was filmed at All Saints Church in Pasadena, where Quinn portrays Daniel, a young, liberal priest and father who clashes frequently with his conservative bishop, Dr. Beatrice Congreve, played by Ellen Burstyn.

Now that would be something to see: Ellen Burstyn's rendering of NBC's idea of what passes for a conservative bishop. If you're interested in theological accuracy, I suspect you'll be better off with My Mother the Car. (tip to MJC).

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  • Posted by: Fr. William - Aug. 17, 2005 7:02 PM ET USA

    Diogenes, while NBC is at it with this mind-boggling trash, maybe the show writers could further their role as guarantors of diversity by having "Daniel" discover in the second (& hopefully last) episode that he was actually adopted by the gay couple (two Episcopal bishops from back East) that raised him... and that "Dr. Beatrice" is actually his mother...

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