Christian Reality TV Shows on the Rise — What's Behind the Trend?

"Divas for Jesus", "Sisterhood" and "Surrender the Secret" are upcoming reality television shows slated for a 2013 premiere which may leave some audiences to wonder, is there a reason for a rise in Christian-themed reality programming?

"Divas for Jesus", a Bischoff Hervey Entertainment release in association with Carrie Gerlach Cecil, is being considered for a 2013/2014 premiere on We TV which also broadcasts the faith-based reality television show "Mary Mary." In a release from the network, the show is described as an unscripted program that follows Christian women whose faith "consists of guns, God, gossip and great wine... Tossing Book Club for Bible Study, these ladies get together every week and on Sunday they ask for forgiveness and cleanse their fabulous little souls."

In TLC Network's "Sisterhood" scheduled to premiere Jan. 1, preachers' wives are the focus in "an honest, behind-the-scenes look into the struggles, triumphs and unique experiences that shape these bold women as they ditch their Sunday hats and morph into the dynamic and influential figures they have become and aim to be."

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Wendy Douglas, TLC Executive Producer, explained why her network chose to document preachers' wives in the upcoming "Sisterhood" series.

"It's a world that comes with some preconceived notions like, first ladies are all about women wearing big hats in church, dancing down the aisles and being super conservative," Douglas told The Christian Post. "We wanted to let these ladies share with us what this world really is and break down those stereotypes and show how a first lady can have fun, be funny, be stylish, balance working at a church and family and how they are relatable as well."

Geoffrey Rogers, president and CEO of KnockTV, a new online Christian television network that will premiere "Surrendering the Secret" on Jan. 22, told CP that the upcoming show was important for Christian women who have had abortions.

"There's healing and hope available to women who have had abortion. Tens of millions of Christian women who have had an abortion are keeping it a secret. This pain is so deeply buried inside of them," Rogers told CP. "We see them coming to the show with the pain and the grief they have, and we see them come through to the healing and forgiveness of God."

For TLC Network's Douglas, a focus on Christian programming on the small screen presents the opportunity to create projects for audiences that are seldom explored on major networks.

"It's a culture (and) group of people (and) areas that we haven't seen very much reality programming on, so we wanted to tap into this world and get to know and understand it more," Douglas told CP. "It's also a very vibrant space that's entertaining and inspirational."

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