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Peanuts and Popcorn

Peanuts and Popcorn

TV: This Easter, it’s all About Jesus

posted by jtotey
"Killing Jesus" (National Geographic Channel)

“Killing Jesus” (National Geographic Channel)

In a time where some Christian publications remind us on a daily basis that our world is going to hell in a hand basket, the rest of the world surprises us. While some fight for freedom FROM religion, others are embracing it. And who better to take advantage of this trend? TV.

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This week’s schedule is full of Easter and religious-themed programing all around the dial, a rare occurrence indeed. But will people watch? If last night’s ratings of Killing Jesus are any indication, then yes.

Last night, the National Geographic Channel brought in 3.7 million viewers to watch the adaptation of Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Jesus. This is the channel’s biggest audience ever and much of the audience fell into the 25-54 age range. Later this week, the film will be shown on the Fox News Channel and will air globally in 171 countries.

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This week, just before Passover, CBS is bringing (albeit with very little fanfare) the TV mini-series The Dovekeepers on Tuesday and Wednesday. Based on Alice Hoffman novel of the same name, the made-for-TV movie is yet another project of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey who are getting a lot more attention for the NBC limited series, A.D.: The Bible Continues which begins on Easter. This is sort of a sequel of their History Channel project, The Bible and takes place right after the crucifiction of Christ. (Side Note: Have you seen pictures of Burnett lately? He is growing his own Bible-sized beard.) Also on Easter Sunday, ABC will air its umpteenth presentation of the classic Cecile B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments.

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On the UP channel, they are celebrating Easter (or Bible stories) all week long including a newer version of the Ten Commandments. They are also featuring the classic 1961 King of Kings and Mel Giblson’s The Passion of the Christ. Also on Easter, TCM will featured Easter-themed movies all day.

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Here is a listing of evening presentations for this week:

"The Dove Keepers" (CBS)

“The Dove Keepers” (CBS)

Monday, March 30
- Jesus – UP – 8:00 pm
- Killing Jesus – National Geographic Channel – 11:00 pm

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Tuesday, March 31
- The Dovekeepers – CBS – 8:00 pm
- The Ten Commandments – UP- 9:00 pm

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Wednesday, April 1
- The Dovekeepers – CBS – 8:00 pm
- King of Kings – UP – 9:00 pm

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Thursday, April 2
- The Dovekeepers – CBS – 8:00 pm
- Mary, Mother of Jesus – UP – 9:00 pm
- Apostle Peter and the Last Supper – UP – 11:00 pm

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"A.D.: The Bible Continues" (NBC)

“A.D.: The Bible Continues” (NBC)

Friday, April 3
- Judas – UP – 7:00 pm
- Killing Jesus – Fox News Channel – 8:00 pm
- The Passion of the Christ – UP – 9:00 pm
- Jesus – UP – 11:00 pm

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Saturday, April 4
- Noah’s Ark – UP – 5:0o pm
- The Passion of Christ – UP – 7:00 pm
- Noah’s Ark – UP – 9:00 pm
- King of Kings – UP – 11:00 pm

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Sunday, April 5
- The Ten Commandments – ABC – 7 pm
- Killing Jesus – Fox News Channel – 8 pm
- A.D.: The Bible Continues – NBC – 9 pm

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‘Daily Show’ Announces New Host

posted by jtotey
Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)

Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)

Michele Ganeless, president of Comedy Central, announced today that the decision on who should replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show has been finalized. Trevor Noah, who began working on the show as a contributor in 2014 has been awarded the coveted spot.

Born in South Africa, Noah was first featured on American television on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman in 2012. He was the first South African stand-up comedian to do so on either of those shows. While Noah is not a household name yet in America, he is one of Africa’s top comedians and even hosted his own late-night show there, Tonight with Trevor Noah. He was also the subject of David Paul Meyer’s documentary, You Laugh but it’s True.

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“Trevor Noah is an enormous talent. He has an insightful and unique point of view, and most importantly, is wickedly funny,” said Ganeless in today’s press release. “For the next host of The Daily Show, we set out to find a fresh voice who can speak to our audience with a keen take on the events of the day, and we found that in Trevor. He has a huge international following and is poised to explode here in America, and we are thrilled to have him join Comedy Central.”

“It’s an honor to follow Jon Stewart. He and the team at The Daily Show have created an incredible show whose impact is felt all over the world,” said Noah. “In my brief time with the show they’ve made me feel so welcome. I’m excited to get started and work with such a fantastic group of people.”

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Said Jon Stewart: “I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor. He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with…In fact, I may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!” It’s hard to know if Stewart is kidding or not. Having him pop up from time to time as a corespondent just might a be genuis idea.

The Daily Show airs at 11:00 pm on Comedy Central Mondays-Thursdays. The date on when Noah will begin has not been decided at this time.

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TV: There’s Nothing New Under the Sun

posted by jtotey
(IMDB)

(IMDB)

What may be new on TV this fall you’ve already seen. Sort of. It’s deja vu all over again in TV land. Just this week, NBC announced that it had greenlit a 13-episode order of Coach, a new sitcom based on the old one but still starring Craig T. Nelson. The original show ran on ABC from 1989 to 1997 and also starred Jerry Van Dyke, Shelly Fabares,Bill Fagerbakke and Clare Carey. Although, no other cast members have been announced as of yet, the new show will pick up 18 years later with Coach Hayden Fox now serving as an assistant coach for his grandson. Original show creator, Barry Kemp, will also write for the new series.

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(Titan Magazine)

(Titan Magazine)

Re-boots of favorite TV shows are nothing new of course, but rarely do they do well. Ironside, The Bionic Woman, Night Rider, The Munsters and even the current The Odd Couple with Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon have failed to connect with viewers while the new version of Hawaii Five-O has done quite well.

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(Epic Buzz)

(Epic Buzz)

However, the renewed series of Coach is part of an ongoing trend that is having some relative success. TV isn’t just wanting to put a new spin on an old series. It wants to bring back the old series with its original stars. TNT brought back Dallas (which ended in 1991) with original cast members and an extended family in 2012, Fox brought back Kieffer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in 24: Live Another Day last year, Arrested Development with its entire cast, came back for a season on Netflix and Disney Channel’s revival of ABC’s Boy Meets World, now dubbed, Girl Meets World, is shooting its second season.

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TV4

(TV Shows on DVD)

In addition to Coach, be on the look out for three other fan favorites making a return. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will return for new episodes of The X-Files, Kyle MacLachlan is set to return to Twin Peaks for a short visit for Showtime and NBC’s Heroes will come back as Heroes Reborn with at least Jack Coleman and Masi Oka returning as well.

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However, even this new trend isn’t really new. The original cast of Leave it Beaver (1957–1963) returned for Still the Beaver (1983–1989). The Brady Bunch (1969–1974) came back as The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (1976), The Brady Girls Get Married (1981) and The Bradys (1990). Finally, who can forget the three Gilligan’s Island reunion movies? Yup, what’s old is new again…and again.

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Andrea Logan White is No Mean Girl

posted by jtotey
Andrea Logan White (Pure Flix)

Andrea Logan White (Pure Flix)

Last fall I was treated to an on-site visit for the production of Do You Believe in Michigan. While there, I got a chance to speak to Andrea Logan White about her role in the film, her marriage and life as an acting family.

Like last year’s hit, God’s Not Dead, Believe tells of multiple storylines of everyday people whose lives come crashing together one fateful night. Andrea plays the role of…Andrea, but the woman I met with is a lot friendlier and happier than the one in the film. “ I don’t even know if that name is even mentioned on camera,” she tells me, “but she is a lawyer – and is cynical and questioning and hopeful and really wanting to believe that Christians are who they say they are.” She explains that this fictional Andrea is a lawyer with a hard shell because she feels that she can prove her point by proving others are wrong. “I think that she is a fighter but that is just a shell for being brokenhearted. She wants a relationship with the Lord but doesn’t know how to get there because of some bad experiences in her life.”

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(Pure Flix)

(Pure Flix)

And how was it playing the mean girl? “She is very fun to play. I love playing mean people,” says White. “Comedy is actually harder to play believe it or not. [My character] is in a relationship with Dr. Farrell (played by Sean Astin) who is an atheist, so it is kind of a relationship where she likes the fact that he’s very strong and very opinionated. They both live in their egos. They are very strong-willed, controlling, self-obsessed and kind of narcissistic, so it is very fun to play but very sad in the sense that they are searching more than anybody.”

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In addition to appearing in this new film, last year’s Mother’s Day comedy, Mom’s Night Out, and many others she is also married to David A.R. White, fellow actor and producer of those faith-based films – 32 since 1998. I asked her what it’s like to be married to dreamer. Is your life chaotic at home?

“You know…Yes. I mean, our life doesn’t stop. My husband and I are polar opposites. He is doing a million things at once and I think I would be do well living in the ’70’s. It’s chaotic, but we are very specific in making sure that our family comes first. For us, that is a priority. We never want to be doing things for God but forget about what he blessed with first and foremost and that’s our children and our marriage. So, it is crazy, especially after God’s Not Dead came out, I mean the traveling and everything has been really busy, but we are very prayerful about it. I am pretty specific on the types of projects that I take on. This is the first project that I’ve taken on where I’ve been away from my kids more than four days. We always say that if we don’t have peace about something than that’s like a sign from the Lord to not take anything more on.”

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YouTube Preview ImageWhile on set, everyone tells me how great the people of Pure Flix are work with. However, I know that if can’t be this wonderful for everyone working in Hollywood. I ask Andrea what advice she would give others actors and actresses working in L.A.

“You know, I’m thankful because I have a husband who grew up as a Christian and I feel like both of us lift each other up when we’re down. We’re stronger – we have each other. Not everybody has that privilege, so I think the biggest thing, and I tell this when I speak to a lot of women, is to keep God first. In Matthew it says ‘seek first the kingdom of God and all things shall be added.’”

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She encourages those who believe that God has given them a desire in their heart to perform as a actor and to glorify any gifts and talents to the Lord, to be free and trust in that. However, you must keep God first. “Don’t think that you can get any further by compromising or pursuing your career and putting Him on the back burner. I feel like the Lord never really blessed me and my path until I made an active decision to be a Christian and profess that He is my Savior and…it’s hard.”

This is where Andrea chooses her words carefully, not wanting to sound high and mighty. “David and I always say that we’re called to love and not judge. We’re going to make mistakes…all of us make mistakes especially when your flooded with bad influences in L.A.. Keep praying about every situation. If there is a project that comes about – you will know by your peace whether or not you should do it. We all believe that we have the Lord and the Holy Spirit. We can trust that the Lord will give us peace and lead us out of that, but, I think that is the most important thing. Sure, we’re not going to be perfect and we’re easily persuaded to kind of glorify ourselves and forget about that. It’s a walk. That’s why God calls it a walk because we fall down and get back up. I think, getting involved in a good church – that truly preaches the word of God is #1 and surround yourself with like-minded believer, actors and singers and performers. That’s a pretty good start.”

Previous Posts

TV: This Easter, it's all About Jesus
In a time where some Christian publications remind us on a daily basis that our world is going to hell in a hand basket, the rest of the world surprises us. While some fight for fre

posted 9:43:03pm Mar. 30, 2015 | read full post »

'Daily Show' Announces New Host
Michele Ganeless, president of Comedy Central, announced today that the decision on who should replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show has been finalized. Trevor Noah, who began working on the show as

posted 6:58:04pm Mar. 30, 2015 | read full post »

TV: There's Nothing New Under the Sun
What may be new on TV this fall you've already seen. Sort of. It's deja vu all over again in TV land. Just this week, NBC announced that it had greenlit a 13-episode order of Coach, a new sitcom based on the old one but

posted 1:46:01pm Mar. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Andrea Logan White is No Mean Girl
Last fall I was treated to an on-site visit for the production of Do You Believe in Michigan. While there, I got a chance to speak to Andrea Logan White about her role in the film, her marriage an

posted 2:27:26am Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

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