Faith, Media & Culture

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

Uplifting ratings. GMC TV, which promotes itself as the home of “Uplifting Entertainment,” is catching an updraft in the ratings. The GMC World Premiere Movie presentation of Raising Izzie set a host of new audience milestones last Sunday.

The film was exceptionally strong in African-American households, where it generated a 2.3 rating. Among African-American women (18-49) and adults (18-49), Raising Izzie garnered ratings of 2.5 and 1.7, respectively, placing at #1 among those groups among all ad-supported cable networks in the time period.

Raising Izzie was also GMC’s strongest premiere ever among women (18-49) with a 0.5 rating and adults (18-49) with a 0.3 rating. Overall, Raising Izzie garnered a 0.4 household rating and delivered an average audience of 313,000. Among all ad-supported cable networks in the time period, GMC ranked 9th among woman (18-49) and 17th among adults A18-49.

The film, which tells the story two orphaned sisters and the caring teacher who changes their lives forever, is based on David Martyn Conley’s screenplay, the first prize winner in the 2011 inaugural GMC Faith and Family Screenplay Competition held at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF).  The film is produced and directed by Roger M. Bobb of Bobbcat Films. The case includes Vanessa Williams (Soul Food, “Lincoln Heights”), Rockmond Dunbar (Soul Food, The Family That Preys, “Sons of Anarchy”), Kyla Kenedy (Three Stooges, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”), and Victoria Staley (“My Parents, My Sister and Me”, “Surface”).

GMC TV Vice Chairman Brad Siegel says he’s not surprised by the film’s strong showing: “We had high expectations for Raising Izzie because it includes all the elements for an uplifting and positive story that our viewers love and which defines the GMC brand.  We knew that we wanted to bring this endearing story to the screen and are thrilled that the ratings clearly show that our viewers share our enthusiasm for this project.”

GMC’s focus on “Uplifting Entertainment” appears to be paying off overall for the network. Its ratings continue to increase — with 15 consecutive quarters of year-to-year  growth, making it the second fastest-growing ad supported cable network among woman (18-49). The world premiere of Heart of Christmas, starring Candace Cameron Bure, attracted over 3.6 million viewers, and the Easter telecast of the miniseries Jesus (starring Jeremy Sisto) became the highest-rated program ever for the network in terms of total households.  

On top of all that, The Parents Television Council has twice awarded GMC its Entertainment Seal of Approval, the only TV network to be so honored.  GMC is also partnering with Magic Johnson on ASPiRE, a new network offering positive and inspirational entertainment specifically tailored for the African-American audience.

GMC can be seen in more than 51 million homes on various cable systems around the country, as well as DISH Network on channel 188, DIRECTV on channel 338 and Verizon FiOS on channel 224.  

Here’s the original trailer for Raising Izzie:

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The network will re-air Raising Izzie on Friday, August 3 at 9 and 11 p.m. EST, Sunday, August 5 at 11 a.m. EST and Saturday, August 11 at 5 p.m. EST.

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

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