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

With viewership on the rise, GMC TV looks forward. The self-proclaimed home of “Uplifting Entertainment,” has announced a broad slate of original movies, series and music specials designed to take viewers through the rest of 2012. The new programming comes on the heels of  rapid ratings growth for the first six months of the year,  particularly among women. The network reports that is now the fastest growing ad-supported cable channel.

GMC Vice Chairman Brad Siegel cites his network’s focus on providing viewers high-quality family entertainment (i.e. the recent GMC original movie Raising Izzie) as being behind the channel’s significant ratings rise. “We are the only network,”  he says, “focused on producing and delivering the best in uplifting family entertainment.   Our robust slate of original movies, stage plays, series and music specials for the remainder of the year will reinforce GMC’s position as a leading destination for entertainment that the entire family can enjoy watching together.”

Here’s a  look at some of what’s coming up on GMC between now and 2013 (including network log lines):

GMC World Premiere Movie: SOMEBODY’S CHILD
Premiere:  Saturday, August 25 at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. EST and August 26 at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. EST
A divine twist of fate causes Constance Rivers and her son Douglas to open their hearts to ex-convict, Benjamin Sparks.  While on the brink of losing her battle with kidney failure, Constance’s near death confession instantly collides her past with her present.  Douglas and Benjamin learn they are fraternal twin brothers who were separated at birth 37 years ago.  Somebody’s Child is a story about a son losing hope, a mother gaining faith, and God’s divine and perfect plan.
Stars: Michael Jai White, Nadine Ellis, Byron Minns, with Clifton Powell and Lynn Whitfield

Premiere:  Saturday, September 8 at 7, 9:30 and 11 p.m. EST
The fourth stage play in GMC’s Wedding Vow series, this second-time-around love story is about communication and respect. Jay and Aliyah have been married for five years and each has a child from a previous marriage. When Aliyah’s husband shows up and demands custody of their son she tries to secretly work it out instead of talking to Jay about the situation. To make matters more complicated, Jay allows his sassy teenage daughter to move in without consulting Aliyah and the two women immediately bump heads. With constant misunderstandings and both disregarding the other’s feelings, these two are going to need to learn the laws of communication and respect if they want to make their marriage work.
Stars: Mel Jackson, Denise Boutte, Tommy Ford, Tammy Townsend, Mishon Ratliff and Shirley Murdock                             

Premiere:  Saturday, September 8 at 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST
Find out in this new reality series how a song connected with a family and changed the course of their lives in a profound way, featuring Sapp’s chart-topping hit, “Never Would Have Made It” which holds the record for the longest running number one single on the radio (across all genres) and in the history of the Billboard charts — lasting 47 weeks at number one.

Premiere: October 2012
The Changers is a funny, heartfelt and dynamic story about the transformation of a happy-go-lucky guy who is living the good life when he is chosen by his friends to help plan a dream wedding for a woman battling breast cancer.

GMC World Premiere Movie: TEACHERS
Premiere: Sunday, November 2012
A popular school in danger of closing.  An embittered principal with a lot to prove. And, a community desperate to hold on to tradition. Worlds intertwine as a group of suburban teachers, students and parents learn what it truly means to belong.  Casting to be announced.

Premiere:  November 2012
The story continues as Kya and Aubrey Wilson find insecurities surfacing and their marriage beginning to crumble. It will take their friends, family and an act of God to make these two work through the pressures of what it takes to make a marriage last.
Stars: Rockmond Dunbar, LeToya Luckett, Clifton Powell, Chris Spencer and Karen Clark Sheard.                 

Premiere:  November 2012
In this new original family reality series we meet Julie and Rusty Bulloch the proud “parents” of 25 kids, however only two are biological.   The rest are teens who have been dealt a difficult hand in life, from being homeless to gang life.  Julie and Rusty welcomed each of them into their central Florida ranch for a SECOND chance at getting on the right track.

GMC Documentary Special: I FORGIVE YOU
Premiere: November 2012
This emotional and uplifting documentary reality series provides people the opportunity to forgive someone who has hurt them or a loved one physically or emotionally.  The goal of the series is to facilitate healing and overcome hatred, anger and revenge.  Executive produced by Arnold Shapiro, Oscar® and 16-time Emmy® Award-winning producer and writer and Rob Lee of Bayonne Entertainment.

GMC World Premiere Movie: CHRISTMAS ANGEL
Premiere: December 1 at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. EST
Christmas Angel
is the story of a young girls dream for her wish to have a complete family come true. While working on a class assignment to write a paper on “My Impossible Christmas Wish,” Olivia Mead quickly takes note of unusual happenings. As her wishes come true she is convinced the miracles are linked to a mysterious woman she believes is an angel.
Della Reese, Teri Polo, Kevin Sorbo and Tamera Mowry-Housley 

Premiere: December 2012
For the last 25 years, the biggest and brightest voices have lent their time and talents to Special Olympics to create the holiday album series, “A Very Special Christmas (AVSC), the most successful benefit recording in music history.  Bruce Springsteen, John Mellancamp, Sting, Run DMC, Vanessa Williams, US, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Wycliff Jean, Tom Petty, Mary J. Blige, Eric Clapton and Tracy Chapman are just a few of the artists that have recorded songs, produced music videos and appeared in two television specials at the White House.  The GMC World Premiere Special will not only capture the most special moments and interviews from the past 25 years, it will feature new performances and interviews from many of the artists coming together for the new 25th anniversary album.

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

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