Reality of Faith

By Seikaly, Andrea | Variety, June 10, 2014 | Go to article overview

Reality of Faith


Seikaly, Andrea, Variety


Religion is becoming more prevalent on the smallscreen, and the trend seems to be gaining momentum, especially in the world of reality TV.

WE TV's "Mary Mary," A&E's "Duck Dynasty," GSN's "American Bible Challenge" and Lifetime's "Preachers' Daughters" are just a few of the programs spotlighting religion on TV and serving what execs recognize as an underrepresented aud.

"Up until the last couple of years, I think religion was scary to most people," says Amy Introcaso-Davis, exec VP of programming and development at GSN. But networks are now pushing past previous apprehensions to propel faith-based programming to eager auds.

Eli Lehrer, Lifetime's senior VP of nonfiction programming, says the new wave of religion on TV is reminiscent of the increase in programming geared toward other demos, namely the African-American community.

"The African-American audience was underserved and underrepresented on TV, and as cable channels in particular have worked on producing for that audience, we've had great ratings success with that," Lehrer says. …

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