Are Faith-Based Shows Becoming a Trend on Network Television?

'Living Biblically' premieres on CBS on February 26, 2018.
"Living Biblically" premieres on CBS on February 26, 2018. | (Photo: Facebook)

Are faith-based programs becoming a trend again?

Earlier this month, "The Mayor" star Brendan Michael Hall was announced as the lead of "God Friended Me," a pilot scheduled to premiere on CBS. The series centers around an atheist who receives a friend request from God on Facebook and subsequently begins to shape the destinies of other people.

On Feb. 26 the half-hour sitcom, "Living Biblically," will air on the network. The series is based on the true story found in author A.J. Jacobs book, The Year of Living Biblicallywhich follows a man who decides to live by every single precept recorded in the Bible.

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According to Deadline, the series, produced by Greg Berlanti and written by Lilien and Wynbrandt, is "a humorous, uplifting series, which explores questions of faith, existence, and science."

Jay R. Ferguson ("Mad Men"), who stars in the sitcom as Chip, told Channel Guide magazine that he believes that the series inspired by the Bible has something for everyone.

"[Faith] is a very delicate topic. Certainly, we're not out to offend anybody," the actor said. "We're getting stuff from the Bible, yes, but it's also very fundamental rules and values that all people — regardless of whether they are Christians or subscribe to a different religion or to no religion at all — can get behind. The notion of loving thy neighbor and not coveting and 'it's better to give than to receive' are basic, human, life principles that everybody, I believe in their hearts, wants to be practicing."

CBS isn't the only network focusing on faith in its scripted shows. On ABC, a sitcom called "Kevin (Probably) Saves the World" explores what happens to a man when an angel of God sets him on a new path to save the world.

Cable television is also tapping into programming that centers around spirituality. Actor Daniel Radcliffe is slated to star in the TBS anthology series called, "Miracle Workers" about an angel handling the prayers of humanity when God decides to take a break.

The increase in faith-based scripted programming on television is no coincidence, according to Deadline.

"The networks have been actively seeking series projects with spiritual themes over the past few years," the website revealed.

While the success of each faith-based show has yet to be determined, one thing remains clear. Hollywood has found value in exploring faith-based themes within its television programming.

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