NBC Drops 'Book of Daniel' from Lineup

NBC has dropped ''The Book of Daniel'' from its schedule, according to reports published Tuesday. NBC, however, has yet to release an official statement regarding the status of the controversial religious drama.

NBC has dropped its new drama series “The Book of Daniel” from its schedule, according to reports published Tuesday.

While some reports claim that the network canceled the controversial religious drama, the Associated Press noted that a spokeswoman for NBC stopped short of saying that the low-rated show was canceled. A web log posted on the NBC website by “Daniel” creator Jack Kenny, meanwhile, reported that the show “will no longer be aired on NBC on Friday nights.”

NBC has yet to release an official statement regarding the status of "The Book of Daniel."

“The Book of Daniel,” which stars Aidan Quinn as a drug-addicted Episcopalian priest, has drawn constant fire from the media over the behavior of the show’s main characters, the Webster family, which include a homosexual son, a pot-dealing daughter, and an alcoholic wife.

Christian groups have been especially vocal about the show’s portrayal of Jesus Christ, played by actor Garren Dillahunt, who James Dobson's Focus on the Family described as being “wimpy, white-robed visitor who cares little about evil, addictions and perversity.”

The American Family Association, along with Focus on the Family, asked supporters to lobby their local NBC affiliates to refuse to carry the show. In an article posted on its website, the AFA credited viewer complaints for forcing the network's hand.

"This shows the average American that he doesn't have to simply sit back and take the trash being offered on TV, but he can get involved and fight back with his pocketbook," AFA founder and chairman Donald E. Wildmon said in the posting.

Though Kenny’s “blog” failed to elaborate on the “many reasons” for the show’s cancellation, Wildmon said it had to do with the lack of sponsorship for the program, according to the Agape Press.

“Had NBC not had to eat millions of dollars each time it aired, [the network] would have kept ‘Daniel’ alive,” said Wildmon, who had predicted that NBC was losing two to three million dollars on each episode. “But when the sponsors dropped the program NBC decided it didn’t want to continue the fight.”

Advertisers and local television networks pulled their support for "Daniel" after the show after receiving complaints from thousands of television viewers.

“We want to thank the 678,394 individuals who sent e-mails to NBC and the thousands who called and e-mailed their local affiliates,” said Wildmon.

Despite criticisms, Kenny said that he never intended to attack Christianity. The “Daniel” writer and creator called the conservative protest efforts spearheaded by the AFA “censorship – pure and simple,” as well as “un-Christian and un-American.”