I must admit, I feel a little gypped. I had wanted to watch the ABC TV series based on the life of David and write up my personal review and compare it to the biblical text. Unfortunately the combination of being a father, being a Pastor, having jury duty and Easter coming up has not left me with a lot of time to add a new TV Show to my watch list. I figured it would be ok. I mean, the TV show looked to be of high budget and I figured the network would want to get it’s moneys worth which would mean that I would have time to catch up. After all, I am just 2 episodes behind and Easter is almost upon us. I can catch up after that…. right?…. right?…. no…
Last night EW confirmed that ABC has decided to cancel the show after airing just two episodes. Low ratings, especially in the demographic that advertisers love to market to has lead to its very premature demise. What went wrong? Do Christians not watch Television? Do they not want tv shows following their Biblical heroes?
I can only venture a guess as I have not gone around interviewing people and I have not seen the show… so maybe I can speak to why it wasn’t a higher priority on my list. After all, if this was the new Ben-Hur movie you could bet I would have found the time in my schedule to watch it!
Here is my guess… ABC didn’t know who they should be advertising to or who the story content would most appeal to. Let me explain, I am not saying this should have been a fluffy poor quality Christian movie equivalent of a TV series but the advertising even set me aback as a rather forgiving Christian TV watcher. Look at much of the advertisement, The first two banners I saw where of half naked, or fully naked women from behind. The first trailer for the series showed sexuality that wouldn’t just push the boundaries of a conservative Christian but rather push the boundaries of what is currently on cable TV. The comment my wife made after seeing the advertisement was “That looks really good but… wow.” and I responded by saying “I know.” Look, I realize that some Christian’s out their are indeed looking for a sanitized fluffy version of Biblical stories but I am not. I would be the perfect demographic to get on board. I mean, come on! I watch Hell on Wheels, you mean to tell me you couldn’t tone it down a little bit?
I believe the problem is not that this show didn’t look to please the conservative crowd… but rather the problem was they went for the Game of Thrones crowed. They showed as much sex as they could possibly get away with and they advertised it almost like it was a peep show set during the time of David. Vikings is a gritty show and it is far from sanitized but they didn’t even go for that crowd.
Of course, the Christian TV watchers will be blamed for not tuning in. Some will blame them for not knowing their Bible and not realizing that their is sex in the actual text… but those same people will fail to realize, many already know this but they just don’t feel the need to be sitting in the bedroom watching it happen. That is creepy. Is creativity completely gone? have writers, directors and show runners completely lost the ability to find creative ways of implying something without being so in your face? ABC, you had a product that could have worked, but in your lack of restraint, you offered a tainted product that was to raunchy for the fans of the source material and too Bible oriented for the demographic you where advertising to. Learn from it. Maybe some day we could actually get an Bible epic TV series… unfortunately I don’t see that time coming soon as the film industry is still trying to figure out the Biblical epic in movie form.