Faith, Media & Culture

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

1. The man behind Unlimited. From Harold Finch hasn’t had a successful career. He’s had several of them. He worked as a NASA scientist, he was an educator, corporate trainer and he now lectures on the keys to success…Now he is executive producer of a movie called “Unlimited”. They just finished shooting in El Paso, where Fred Thompson played the part of Harold himself, who inspires the main character. Checkout the  video report here.

FYI: Harold Finch will be sharing his principles of success this Thursday (April 12) at 8:00 PM (ET) at the University of South Florida.  As I reported here earlier, I recently had the opportunity to meet him on the set of Unlimited.  A truly inspiring guy.

2. Speaking of success principles…From The Orlando Sentinel: ABC won the Saturday prime-time ratings race with “The Ten Commandments,” Charlton Heston as Moses and the still-stunning parting of the Red Sea. In prime time, the 1956 epic averaged 7 million viewers for the Disney-owned network.
Comment: A 56-year-old classic beats such modern fare as Cops, How I Met Your Mother, Mike & Molly, Criminal Minds, Bones, 48 Hours Mystery, Law & Order: SVU, Best Friends Forever, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers and the new NBC reality show  Escape Routes. That should tell the networks something.

3. Harsh reality. From The New York Post: Three ultra-Orthodox Jews ditch their strict religious lifestyle and join the sin-city world of secularism in a docudrama, called “Shunned,” about their new lives…Noah Scheinmann, an executive producer at No Regrets Entertainment, said the company is now shopping “Shunned” to the networks, and is searching for a fourth cast member leaving the faith.
Comment: If the networks have learned anything from the durability of the Cecil B. DeMille  film above, they might opt to pass on this one. Chances are 56 years from now it won’t be winning any ratings races — or even one year from now.  By and large, mainstream audiences want to see their own faith — as well as the faiths of others — presented with respect. I, of course, make no judgment about the women deciding to move on with their lives but turning those decisions into fodder for weekly so-called “reality” entertainment, to me, smacks of possible gratuitous bashing a particular religious sect and exploitation of the women themselves (though, I’m sure, they don’t see it that way).  I, personally, find the whole voyeuristic Real Housewives-type genre to be unhealthy for participants and viewers alike.

4. Bible-based game show pilot in the works. From Big Hollywood: (Comedian Jeff) Foxworthy will host the upcoming show “The American Bible Challenge,” to air on The Game Show Network…Each week, a church or ministry will be featured on the show, with the winnings going to a faith-based charity.
Comment: This might, in fact, be an entertaining show but it wouldn’t be the first TV game show with a faith theme. Check this out from Telecare

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

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