When Beliefnet launched in 1999, "Touched by an Angel" was one of the most popular shows on TV. It was revolutionary—a prime-time hit that spoke of God overtly and depicted God's angels as agents in our lives. At a time when much religion on TV was angry, "Touched by an Angel" offered hope. Most impressively, it was just downright riveting--showing that content that was spiritually enriching need not be ponderous or preachy. It drew inspiration from imperfect people rather than saints. And it made me and Beliefnet's early supporters realize that mainstream media could and should explore the divine. Religion was too important to be left just to the clergy.
"Touched" owed its particular genius to Martha Williamson. As Executive Producer and Head Writer, Martha drove the tone, spirit, and quality of the show. What soon became clear to many in Hollywood was that Martha Williamson was one of the great storytellers on TV. What became clear to the rest of us was that, fortunately, she also had a mission to bring a sense of hope and God's love to millions.
Since "Touched by an Angel" and her spin-off "Promised Land" went into syndication, countless TV executives and Hollywood studios have tried to get Martha to do it again. So, it's with a deep sense of pride that we announce Martha's return to the "airwaves" right here on Beliefnet. Martha's new show "A Touch of Encouragement," produced exclusively for Beliefnet, offers all the hope and positive storytelling she is known for, plus something that a television drama could not provide: interactive inspiration. The woman previously behind the camera will now be in front of it, and what was once an audience can now become a community.
Watch her videos and read her blogs throughout the week. Share your feedback and get involved. Together I hope you will encourage each other and break new ground, helping to make Martha's new effort perhaps even more powerful than her hit TV shows.