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

Coming Attractions:

One night event: Patterns of Evidence: Exodus to run in select theaters across the US Monday, January 19 @ 7:00 PM local time. Whether or not Ridley Scott’s take on Exodus works for you, you might want to check out this award-winning documentary. Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney chronicles an in-depth archaeological investigation in Egypt as his team attempts to corroborate the biblical text. The film explores one fundamental question:  Is there any evidence that the Exodus story actually happened? Twelve years in the making, the provocative documentary reveals new or rarely seen evidence regarding the Israelites’ descent into slavery, their Exodus from Egypt and their ultimate conquest of the Promise Land.  A half-hour pre-show debate will run at 6:30 PM  local time and a panel discussion moderated Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson will immediately following the film. Tickets  are available at participating theater box offices and online at  The event will be presented in 600 movie theaters around the country through Fathom Events’ Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Revolutionary faith-themed film Beyond the Mask is due in theaters on April 6, 2015. A former British mercenary overcomes his past, wins his beloved and teams with Ben Franklin to defuse a plot of historical proportions. The movie, from Burns Family Studios and Gathr Films stars Andrew Cheney  (Seasons of Gray) (SEASONS OF GRAY), Kara Killmer (If I Can Dream, Chicago Fire), John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings) and, as Ben Franklin, Alan Madlane.

This just in from Hallmark Channel: Rounding out this year’s new Countdown to Christmas original holiday premieres, Best Christmas Party Ever and The Christmas Parade boosted Hallmark Channel to become the highest rated network on cable among women in the 25-54 demo for the 6th consecutive week. Reaching 56 million unduplicated viewers, The 12 New Movies of Christmas made the network the most watched on cable among households and women 25-54 for 7 weekends. The films capped off this year’s original premieres as the highest-rated cable movies of the week, a distinction the network has claimed for seven consecutive weeks, since Countdown to Christmas kicked off on October 31st.

The December 13th premiere of Best Christmas Party Ever earned a 3.1 HH rating and averaged 3.4 million total viewers and reached 5.4 million unduplicated viewers. In its 8-10pm time period, the program scored the #1 spot among HH (3.1) and total viewer (1.6) rating, as well as HH (2,651,000) and total viewer (3,420,000) delivery. The premiere helped boost the network to be the #1 rated cable network in prime time and total day among HH rating, as well as the #1 rated cable network for total day among W25-54. Among HH ratings, the film was also the top program on cable for the day.

Drawing over 3.5 million total viewers and reaching 5.2 million unduplicated viewers, the Sunday, December 14th premiere of The Christmas Parade earned a 3.1 HH rating and was the #1 program of the day among HH rating. The film placed #1 among HH (3.1), W25-54 (1.5), and total viewers (1.6) rating in its 8-10pm time period. The film premiere delivered #1 among HHs (2,664,000) and total viewers (3,502,000). Among HH ratings, the premiere catapulted the network to be the #1 rated cable network in both primetime and total day.

The “12 New Movies of Christmas” premieres averaged a 3.4 HH rating and reached 24 million unduplicated viewers. Of this season’s original debuts, seven ranked as the #1 program of the day, including One Starry Christmas,  The Nine Lives of Christmas, Northpole,  A Royal Christmas, Debbie Macomber’s Mr. Miracle and the aforementioned Best Christmas Party Ever and The Christmas Parade.

In addition, the premiere of Christmas Under Wraps marked the network’s highest-rated and most-watched telecast in history, scoring a 5.0 HH rating, averaging 5.7 million total viewers, and reaching 7.2 million unduplicated viewers  – Hallmark Channel’s largest unduplicated audience in network history.

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

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