Beliefnet
Faith, Media & Culture

Here are today’s dispatches from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

1. TNT’s 2012 slate includes possible Mitch Albom series. The 2011 season is just beginning but development for next year is already underway. Cable networks like USA and TNT have been gaining a lot of traction producing the kinds of shows broadcast networks used to make before they began imitating cable’s penchant for supposedly edgy single-camera sitcoms, dark dramas and cheap reality shows. Among the shows being developed for TNT next year is a comedy-drama from Mitch Albom, whose bestselling faith-themed books Tuesdays with Maury and Five People You Meet in Heaven became, respectively, the top-rated TV movies of 1999 and 2004. Why it took so long for someone to get the bright idea to give this guy a shot at a TV series, I’ll never know.

In any event, the potential hour-long still-unnamed dramedy is apparently about a guy who reluctantly gets roped into managing a struggling Detroit radio station. Albom, who lives in Detroit and famously loves his adopted city, has described the show as “a Detroit story,”  adding “There’s a sweetness to the story about how people stay in Detroit … and their love of hometown. The guy who left sort of gets lassoed back in, like Jimmy Stewart in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’” I have to say, I’m a sucker for well-written stories with heart.  Ratings, box office results and book sales for such material indicate that I’m not alone. Maybe the networks will finally figure out that the audience is CSI‘d out.  ,

BTW,  a TV-movie version of Albom’s 2009 book,  Have a Little Faith, is due on ABC around Christmas time.

You may also be interested in hearing Albom reflect on the universal issues of violence and despair at Odyssey Networks Call on Faith.  You can check it out here.

2. Cheering on The Mighty Macs. The promoters of the fact-based comedy The Mighty Macs are urging groups that supports films portraying faith in positive light to book the film for group screenings that can also benefit their own organizations. The hope is to create a win-win situation in which the box office receipts benefit both the film and local institutions (i.e. schools and churches).

The Mighty Macs is a feel-good comedy (with some drama) that tells the true story of how in 1971, Cathy Rush (played by Carla Gugino) coached a sad sack basketball team at Immaculata  College, a then girls-only Catholic school, to national victory. The cast also includes David Boreanaz as Cathy’s NBA referee husband and Academy Award-winner Ellen Burstyn as Mother St. John, the sister who heads the college. The movie is rated G but it’s not just for kids.

For information on setting a showing for your group, click here.

I recently screened the film (which opens in theaters on October 21st) and I can tell you, I found it to be warm, funny and thoroughly entertaining. Check out the trailer below:

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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