May 20, 2017
Upfronts 2017: Networks Bet On Religious Themes For Next Season
After the November presidential election, the broadcast networks — some publicly, some privately — had vowed to better reflect the lives and values of people in the Heartland.
The two hottest themes this pilot season were military dramas — with NBC’s The Brave (originally For God and Country), CBS’ SEAL Team, Fox’s Behind Enemy Lines and the CW’s Valor — and religious projects that tackle the Bible with the comedy By the Book (originally titled Living Biblically) and light drama The Gospel of Kevin.
With only roughly half of the broadcast pilots making it to series, who would’ve thought that three of the four military drama pilots and both biblical projects would make it to series? (See my story: Upfronts 2017: Hot Series Trend – Patriotic Dramas With Military Heroes.)
Additionally, CBS has the straight-to-series comedy Young Sheldon, about the childhood of the character from The Big Bang Theory growing up in Texas with a deeply religious mother,
Written/exec produced by Patrick Walsh based on A.J. Jacobs’ bestselling book The Year of Living Biblically. and executive produced by The Big Bang star Johnny Galecki, By the Book centers on a modern man (Jay R. Ferguson) at a crossroads in his life who decides to live according to the Bible.
Written-executive produced by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters The Gospel of Kevin stars Jason Ritter as Kevin, a down-on-his-luck man who is tasked by God with a mission to save the world. Here is a trailer (there is no trailer yet for By the Book, which is for midseason):