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January 1970 Archives

Meet Todd, ‘Survivor’s’ Gay Mormon

posted by lmarcus

Now in its 20th season (can you believe it?) on CBS, “Survivor” still has some tricks up its sleeve. This season, the show is set in China, and incorporates many new twists like a “kidnapping” stunt. However, some habits die […]

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In Memoriam: Ashley Perrin

posted by lmarcus

Ashley Perrin was involved in what’s safe to call the most-talked-about-ever episode of “Trading Spouses.” On the show, two families switch moms for a week and agree to go along with the new mom’s rules. For maximum drama, the families […]

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Spiritual ‘Survivor': The Reality Show Gets Religion

posted by Ellen Leventry

I haven’t watched “Survivor” since the Boston Rob season (Marquesas, for those of you who keep track of such things) and that’s saying something for the girl who made a rat-shaped meatloaf for the season one finale. But nothing drew […]

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Joni Mitchell’s Back…and She’s Ticked

posted by Paul O'Donnell

American Catholics who want to register offense at Joni Mitchell’s new album, “Shine,” had better take a number. Mitchell takes aim at Wall Street, Las Vegas, people who talk on cell phones while driving, polluters, bridezillas, and a clergyman named […]

Enter to Win: Daniel Kirkley’s New Album

posted by dross

New Christian pop artist Daniel Kirkley is causing a buzz in the Christian music industry with his latest album, “Let Love Win.” Christianity Today and others have compared the former pre-med college student’s sound to popular singer Josh Groban. In […]

Check Out Jenna Bush on ’20/20′

posted by lmarcus

Presidential daughter Jenna Bush will be interviewed by Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “20/20″ this Friday night. It’s nice to see that Jenna isn’t following the pattern of famous-because-of-who-their-parents-are celebrities like Paris Hilton and Kimberly Stewart. Instead of being photographed at […]

Top 10 Underappreciated Christian Albums

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Infuze magazine has been running a fun Christian music retrospective over on their website called “The Top Twenty Underappreciated Christian Albums.” As I looked over their choices, I began to reminisce about some of my favorite, more eclectic, Christian music […]

The CW Finds Religion

posted by mkress

Is the CW–the child of the teen-focused UPN and WB networks–growing up? The net, now in its second year, is launching two new series with religious themes at their core. “Aliens in America” focuses on a Muslim exchange student in […]

“The Bionic Woman”: An Experiment Beyond God’s Control

posted by Donna Freitas

Brace yourself. You already know it’s coming. Within the first ten minutes of NBC’s “Bionic Woman” (premiering tonight at 9 p.m.)–a remake of the popular 1970s classic–you’ll watch as Jamie Sommers’s life gets crushed. Literally. And even though you already […]

TV’s Sexy Fall Lineup: That’s Not a Wrap

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Sex is hitting an all-time high on television, according to Advertising Age magazine, but responsibility seems to be at an all-time low. Ad Age has no problem with sexuality (in fact, beware: their story is racily arted with a couple […]

TV Land Promotes Family Dinner

posted by Douglas Howe

Did anyone join in TV Land’s third annual dinner-hour blackout last night? I did …sort of. The TV Land cable network sponsored its third annual “Family Day–A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children” last night. During the dinner hour […]

Kids in the Way: “Love Hate Masquerade”

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Love hasn’t been kind to emo rock band Kids in the Way if the songs on their latest CD “Love Hate Masquerade” are any indication. Break-ups and heartache permeate every lyric, painting a portrait of futility tinged with a longing […]

Big Brother’s Amber Tries to Make Amends

posted by lmarcus

This past weekend was the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. It was also the week that CBS’ trainwreckier-by-the-minute reality show “Big Brother” concluded. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Previously on Idol Chatter, I joined the many […]

“Chuck”: NBC’s Geek Chic?

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Geek chic is in this fall, with new series like “The Big Bang Theory” as well as the returning reality series “Beauty and the Geek.” And now NBC is hoping their geek, 20-something computer whiz Chuck Bartowski will help pull […]

Advanced Medicine: David Crowder Band’s ‘Remedy’

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Even for a Godrocker, David Crowder is unvarnished. His guitar lives for blaring anthems–”Amazing Grace” is his idea of an encore number–and his electric-socket hairstyle makes Matisyahu look metrosexual. By this measure, his latest album, “Remedy,” his first in two […]

Brad Pitt Falls For Jesse James

posted by Idol Chatter

It’s official! Summer is over and Hollywood is now rolling out its what-the-heck-do-we-do-with-these pet projects as images of gold-plated awards and acceptance speeches dance in their heads. The proof, in this case, is in the Pitt pudding, Brad’s latest film, […]

Patricia Heaton, Put Your Money Where Your Potty-Mouth Is

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Speaking of sex (and I was), you have to go pretty low to disgust the trashy New York Post. But Patricia Heaton’s new sitcom, “Back to You” has the tabloid’s TV critic Adam Buckman taking the high ground: “If the […]

“Journeyman”: The Purpose Driven Messenger

posted by Donna Freitas

Tonight at 10 on NBC, television viewers with meet Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd) on “Journeyman,” an interesting new drama about a man who suddenly finds himself ripped from moments in his everyday life–getting into a cab, waking up in his […]

DVD of the Week: ‘The Syrian Bride’

posted by mkress

“The Syrian Bride” is an Israeli movie that points to some of the absurdities and everyday tragedies of a long-term conflict like that between Israel and its neighbors. The movie focuses on a Druze family living in the Golan Heights, […]

Kathy Griffin Vs. Christian Entertainers

posted by Kris Rasmussen

It seems all I need to do to create a flood of comments here at Idol Chatter–something that make my editors very happy–is to post my thoughts on either (a) Michael Moore or (b) Kathy Griffin. It’s the latter comedian […]

The “Essential” Jars of Clay Collection

posted by Douglas Howe

Jars of Clay recently released a retrospective called “The Essential Jars of Clay,” and unlike some retrospectives, this one is, well, essential. If you’re not a Jars of Clay fan, this is a great opportunity to get in on a […]

Kid Nation: Not Living Up to the Hype

posted by Ellen Leventry

In William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies,” Piggy tells Ralph that he swims “half-bad.” In British English, this is a compliment–a positive connotation that speakers of American English have difficulty wrapping their heads around. But either meaning can be applied […]

Models for Christ?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Sure, there are plenty of Christians in fashion–Christian Lacroix, Christian Louboutin, etc.–but what about Christian models? Well it seems the New York Observer recently attended a meeting of the NYC branch of Models for Christ. Started by model Jeff Calenberg […]

Jesus Loves GodTube, Apparently

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

Pop quiz, Idol Chatter hotshots: What was the fastest growing website in the U.S. last month? Gotta be YouTube, right? No? How about Facebook? Nope. (MyUrbanKvetch? I wish.) Try again, and try thinking God.According to comScore Media Matrix (via Mashable), […]

Survey: Jerry Lewis Is Hotter Than Angelina Jolie

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Flipping channels amid the vast wastes of Labor Day weekend, I happened on Jerry Lewis’s telethon: The bad lighting, the second-rate stars screeching out a cheesy Andrew Lloyd Webber tune, and there, on a stool waiting for it all to […]

Not for Sale

posted by mkress

If you think slavery died with the Civil War, think again. It’s a huge problem today, and getting worse. Dave Batstone’s written a book about it, “Not for Sale,” and he appeared on CBS’ “Eye to Eye” to discuss it. […]

The Most Empowering Women on Television

posted by dali

Flip the channels on your TV, and you’ll find tons of wonderful sitcoms and dramas featuring strong, profound female characters. The time is ripe for women on television, a sentiment driven home when America Ferrera took home the Emmy for […]

For O.J., Too Much Purpose Can Be a Bad Thing

posted by Paul O'Donnell

When the chaplain at in Las Vegas’s Clark County Detention Center gave his celebrity prisoner, O.J. Simpson, some form of “The Purpose Driven Life” (news reports didn’t specify if it was the Daily Inspiration, “The PDL Journal,” “The PDL for […]

My Top Five Picks for Immortality-Themed TV Premieres

posted by Donna Freitas

It is human nature to contemplate Big Questions about death, the stunning fragility of life, and even, occasionally, to wish for immortality. Christians believe in resurrection and hope for an eternity of bliss in heaven, and Hindus pray to exchange […]

Grammer and Heaton ‘Back’ To Laughter–Sometimes

posted by Kris Rasmussen

With the art form of the (funny) sitcom becoming more and more of an endangered species on television these days, the FOX network is putting its hopes for sitcom success on two of the most beloved stars in television sitcom […]

Sherri Shepherd’s ‘View’ on Evolution, Flat Earth?

posted by lmarcus

If Barbara Walters wanted to get publicity when she hired two new cohosts this month, she sure got her wish. New hosts Whoopi Goldberg and

Go to Heaven ‘In the Shadow of the Moon’

posted by Donna Freitas

Memories from my childhood include a long love affair with the heavens. In the hours after my parents put me to bed, instead of drifting off into dreamland I’d gaze skyward through the window at the stars and the moon. […]

Get Inspired by Barry Manilow!

posted by Douglas Howe

When it comes to hot DVD box sets, one name I would not usually get excited about is Barry Manilow, who’s releasing an upcoming five DVD set. After all, I’m a guy! Seriously, I think Barry Manilow is one of […]

Our Rosie Studying Kabbalah?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Apparently Rosie O’Donnell’s time on “The View” affected her more deeply than we knew. According to Perezhilton.com, the outspoken comedian joined Kabbalah queen and friend Madonna in the Holy Land for Rosh Hashana. Perez cites Kabbalah language-laced posts on O’Donnell’s […]

Play or Pray: Is That the Question?

posted by mkress

American Jews have always had a love affair with the stories of Jewish athletes. Sandy Koufax’s refusal to pitch on Yom Kippur is probably the best known and most beloved example. Now here comes Jewish High Holiday season, just in […]

‘K-Ville': Crime and Redemption?

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Fox is kicking off the new fall television season a little earlier than the other networks by premiering one of their new series, the cop drama “K-ville.” The show is gathering a lot of attention for its twist to the […]

TV Must Get Back to Its ‘Roots’

posted by Paul O'Donnell

While Fox scrambled to keep Ray Romano’s and Katherine Heigl’s bleepable words off the air at last night’s Primetime Emmy Awards Show, Ed Asner sneaked this stray comment in the tribute to “Roots”: “Turned out better than I thought,” mumbled […]

My Tribute to USA Today

posted by Douglas Howe

Unless you paid close attention, you may have missed the major cultural event that took place last Friday all over the country. What is it? Well, in a small box on the top–and in a small column at the bottom […]

Christian Prayer Vs. Football

posted by Paul O'Donnell

With all the high-fiving of heaven after touchdowns, post-game testimonials, and mid-field prayer meetings, football fans might not have noticed that the NFL is mildly hostile to open displays of Christianity. As this Christianity Today piece points out, the league […]

‘Angels in the Dust': No Child Left Behind

posted by Kris Rasmussen

With it comes to social issues, the news media tends to give stories a short shelf life, which is why documentaries–when done well–are a fantastic art form that continues to shine a light on tragedies that we be more comfortable […]

Watch T-Bone’s Latest Music Video

posted by dross

Christian rapper, actor, and ordained minister, T-Bone is enjoying much success with his latest album, “Bone-A-Fide.” He was nominated for a Grammy this year for best Rock of Rap Gospel album–and was actually the first Christian rapper in history to […]

The True “Lawrence of Arabia”: Tonight on PBS

posted by Douglas Howe

I hope you’ve had a chance to see one of the host of 9-11 memorials, retrospectives, and history shows that have been featured this week on nearly every network and cable station, including the History Channel, National Geographic Channel, Discovery […]

Janine Turner Introduces Christian Yoga

posted by lmarcus

I always wondered what became of Janine Turner, who was the female lead on the late, great sitcom “Northern Exposure.” Well, my question has finally been answered–she’s been directing short films, recording Christian music, and making Christian yoga videos. Wait, […]

Punish the Patriots–Harshly!

posted by Douglas Howe

Football is everywhere these days, with games being played virtually every day of the week, televised nationally on cable and network TV. All the more reason for the NFL to set a dramatic precedent by dishing out an unparalleled punishment […]

Watch Video: ‘In the Valley of Elah’

posted by mkress

“In the Valley of Elah“–Paul Haggis’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning “Crash”–starts out as a mystery about a soldier who disappears soon after returning home from Iraq. But it soon becomes something more: a full-scale exploration of America’s involvement in Iraq […]

Green Entrepeneur of “The Body Shop” Anita Roddick Dies

posted by Donna Freitas

I remember the first time I visited “The Body Shop.” It was a brand new store in Georgetown and a brand new chain, too. I was in college, and I was enchanted by all the wonderful sounding lotions and conditioners. […]

More Patriots Bashing

posted by mkress

Over at J-Walking, our friend David Kuo has harsh words for the Patriots and their coach, Bill Belichick, over the football team’s cheating scandal. He goes even further than Doug does here at Idol Chatter, calling for Belichick’s head, or […]

Max Lucado Defines 3:16 and 9-11

posted by Douglas Howe

9-11 and 3:16. What do those two numbers mean to you? For Max Lucado and his publishing teams, the first is the release date of a host of new products, and the second is the product itself. “What if hope […]

Kathy Griffin Worships at the Alter of Ego

posted by Kris Rasmussen

I once referred to comic and D-List celebrity Kathy Griffin as “my favorite atheist” because I have enjoyed her self-deprecating humor on her reality series, “My Life on the D List.” But her acceptance speech at last weekend’s creative Emmys […]

Enter to Win a Free DVD of ‘Beyond the Gates’

posted by mkress

What’s the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make? That’s the question that hovers over “Beyond the Gates,” and it’s one that can win you a free copy of that movie on DVD. Post your answer in the comments box […]

In Defense of the VMAs–and Britney Spears

posted by nsymmonds

Should any of us be surprised that the MTV Video Music Awards show was an utter disaster? What do you expect from the network with enough gall to green light a bisexual dating show featuring a relative nobody? But while […]

The Fashionable Hermit (and her Habitat)?

posted by Donna Freitas

My favorite New York Times Sunday editions are the ones that include magazine “extras”–an entire additional glossy devoted to, let’s say, travel or women’s fashion. Or, as in this Sunday’s case, an edition of “Key,” which is devoted to all […]

‘Away From Her’ Now On DVD

posted by Kris Rasmussen

Several weeks ago I posted a review of the indie film “Away From Her” and its authentic but painful portrayal of Alzheimer’s disease. Many Beliefnet readers responded to that post with their own accounts of their struggles in caring for […]

Madeline L’Engle: Beloved Children’s Author Dies

posted by dali

How many of you, like me, spent many an hour engrossed in the fascinating stories of the Murray family–time-traveling, wisdom-seeking, love-spreading, genius fictional family creation of best-selling author Madeleine L’Engle? I wanted to be Meg Murray, beloved protagonist of the […]

‘The View’s’ New Christian

posted by mkress

After months of speculation, it seems that Barbara Walters is set to name actress Sherri Shepherd as a co-host of “The View.” The formal announcement is expected Monday. While we who slave away in offices all day to bring you […]

Amy Winehouse Seeks Rehab Help from a Rabbi?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Amy Winehouse may not want to go to rehab, but how about to a rabbi? TMZ.com reports that the manic depressive soul singer and her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, are turning to Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin, director of Drugsline a London-based, non-denominational […]

Casting Crowns Tops Billboard Chart

posted by Kris Rasmussen

It’s no surprise that the soundtrack for “High School Musical 2″ is at the top of the Billboard Top 200 chart this week, but what will no doubt cause a stir with at least some music industry execs is the […]

Flying the Sacrificial Skies?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Officials at Nepal’s state-run airlines are certainly “thinking outside the box” when it comes to battling the plague of problems—late flights, older planes—affecting the airline industry. Or maybe we should say, thinking outside the pen. Reuters reports that Nepal Airlines […]

Top 5 Books by Modern Women on Faith

posted by Paul O'Donnell

The new book documenting Mother Teresa’s lifelong struggle with her faith is either a testimony to the power of belief or a fascinating portrait of self-denial. What is faith and how does it behave in the world? Here are my […]

Faith Amid the Rubble

posted by dross

Just in time for the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a beautiful new Christian documentary, “The Cross and the Towers,” has been released. The film tells the stories of a number of the rescue workers at the World […]

Enter to Win: Transistor Radio CD

posted by dross

Though you may not have heard of the Christian rock band Transistor Radio, they just might be praying for you. According to the band’s Myspace page, the band loves to accept prayer requests and gathers every Thursday to “pray and […]

What Kills Rockers? Sex, Drugs and Reunion Tours

posted by Paul O'Donnell

More than 30 years after the song told us “If there’s a rock ‘n roll heaven, you know they have a hell of a band,” British scientists have ploughed through a half-century’s worth of statistics–and, no doubt, several thousand pounds […]

Reader Responses: Staying on the Path (and Winning CDs)

posted by dross

When we began our Casting Crowns CD contest a couple of weeks ago–asking, “How do you stay on the Christian path?”–we expected a strong response, maybe 75 or 100 entries. “Strong” doesn’t begin to describe it, though: Nearly 800 of […]

Mega Millions’ Wiccan Winner Thanks Gods

posted by Ellen Leventry

When I heard Elwood “Bunky” Bartlett, an accountant from Dundalk, MD, attributed his Mega Millions lottery win to Wiccan gods and goddesses, I thought, “Wow, what a way to legitimize Wicca!” I immediately had visions of dyed-in-the-wool conservative Christian lotto […]

Rick Rubin: Music Mogul & Guru of all Faiths

posted by Donna Freitas

This week’s New York Times Magazine features Rick Rubin, the new “co-head” of Columbia records, who is posed as … what exactly is portrayed on the magazine’s cover? A pseudo-Jesus figure with his long beard and eyes closed in contemplation? […]

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How One Basketball Player is Dreaming Again
Isaiah Austin was a Baylor basketball standout  who was primed for the 2014 NBA Draft, until he was sidelined with a rare disease. His book Dream Again shares his story of faith and his courage to dream again. What does it mean to you to ...

posted 3:39:12pm Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Phil Vischer and Creative Trust Partner for New Series
"Galaxy Buck" is the first narrative video series that Phil Vischer has launched within a decade. The Galaxy Buck space trilogy series will feature the popular characters from Vischer's bestselling series Buck Denver Asks...What's in the ...

posted 2:05:00pm Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

The New ‘Peanuts’ Trailer Is Here, And We Just Can’t Get Enough
[youtube]https://youtu.be/El7chqzwKlo[/youtube] Charlie Brown and the gang have a whole new look in the first-full length trailer for the “The Peanuts Movie”, and it’s absolutely fantastic. We promise, you’ve never seen them quite like ...

posted 5:28:01pm Jun. 17, 2015 | read full post »

‘I'm Tired of Watching America be Led by Lunatics’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j_JmeYUsZM Conservative talk show host Kevin Jackson was signed to a national syndication deal by USA Radio Networks and will launch July 20th on USA Radio Networks XDS Channel 3. The Kevin Jackson Show will ...

posted 9:41:20am Jun. 16, 2015 | read full post »

Academy Award Winner Morgan Freeman Will Produce 'The Story of God'
National Geographic Channel and Executive Producers Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary and James Younger of Revelations Entertainment announced today The Story of God, a new global series exploring mankind’s quest to understand the divine. Host ...

posted 9:17:12am Jun. 12, 2015 | read full post »

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