Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 09/16/22

Deadline reports this year’s Emmys were DOA, falling to an all-time low in ratings  in terms of ratings and dropping double digits from last year. Why? Take a look at the nominees and winners. HBO‘s critical darling Succession (with a season finale that scored just 1.7 million viewers) won in the Best Drama Series category while TV’s number-one show, Paramount Network’s Yellowstone (with a season finale that racked up 9.3 million viewers) wasn’t even nominated.

In the Best Comedy Series category Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso was the winnerThe hype machine tells us it”s a popular show but, like other streamed shows you have to pay to see it and its ratings are measured by a confusing total minutes watched metric (as opposed to just counting up viewers) that makes it difficult to determine actual popularity. Sort of  like rank-choice voting in the political system, they just blur the lines and then, so much for transparency, tell us who we like best (or maybe who they like best). Meanwhile, actual quality broadcast hits like CBS’ Young Sheldon and Ghosts (available for free and with ratings measured clearly by actual viewers) weren’t even nominated.

I think it’s safe to say the most of the nominated shows are programs most people literally have never even heard of, let alone watched and enjoyed. Here’s the bottom line. The average person is not inclined to tune in to see a bunch of pampered celebrities, who routinely mock their values (often on the awards shows themselves) hand each other golden calves.

Happy Birthday to The Waltons! The classic CBS drama, which celebrated its 50th birthday two days ago, won 13 Emmy Awards and garnered 56 nominations over its nine year/221 episode run – and, yes, it was a smash hit with the general public (finishing out its second season as the #2 most-watched show in all of television) . Wednesday’s golden milestone was noted by Air1 which spoke to fans and cast members, including Richard Thomas (now 71!) who played John-Boy, about the show’s enduring appeal. Matters of faith served as themes for many of the episodes. Spiritual Pop Culture listed ten of the best of them in a 2014 post.
IMHO: For its first five seasons The Waltons was actually one of the best TV drama series in the medium’s history. If featured credible, interesting characters that you cared about and excellent writing that often tackled some fairly profound subjects. It sorta began falling apart narrative wise after John-Boy left but still managed to eke out four more, sometimes painful to watch, seasons. The moral: From a creative standpoint, it’s important to know when to end a show.

Florida’s antiCrist. Speaking at a  campaign event, Democratic candidate for Florida governor Charlie Crist had this to say about his incumbent opponent:  “You know, some people call him ‘DeSatan.’ Have you heard that?…’DeSatan’ versus that (helpfully pointing to his own surname on a campaign poster). Think about it. BOOM!”…It is crystal clear. He’s bad. We’re good.”
IMHO:  I think that “BOOM” is the sound of the Crist campaign imploding.

YouTube commentator Jason Siler offers a helpful definition of “fascism.”

Fathom Events and WTA Media are extended the theatrical run of Lifemark for an additional week. The announcement follows the pro-adoption film’s successful opening weekend when it delivered $855,152 in ticket sales for a 3rd place finish on opening night. The film continued to play strong throughout the weekend and into the week with the third highest per-screen-average  Tickets are available here. You can check out the trailer below.

John W. Kennedy is a writer, producer and media development consultant specializing in television and movie projects that uphold positive timeless values, including trust in God.

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

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