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Does Religion Have a Place on Primetime Television? New Series “God Friended Me”

Miles the protagonist in God Friend Me, receives a friend request.
An atheist's life is turned upside down when he is "friended" by God on Facebook. Image via YouTube

Creators of the new faith-based show, God Friended Me, claim that they’re seeking to find the “middle ground between a believer and a nonbeliever.”

Religion and mainstream television don’t often go hand in hand, but the formula is getting an update with the new television series “God Friended Me”, which premieres on CBS on Sunday, September 30th.

CBS has reason to hope for the new series, considering their previous successes with the faith-based genre, with shows like “Touched by an Angel” in the 1990s and “Joan of Arcadia” in the 2000s.

“God Friended Me” stars Brandon Micheal Hall (last seen in ABC’s “The Mayor”) as Miles, a young atheist podcast host who receives a “friend request” from God. Miles is skeptical, having lost his faith since his mother’s death, to the chagrin of his preacher father, played by “Scandal’s” Joe Morton.

Similar to its predecessor “Touched by an Angel”, Miles is then appointed to help people in need, through God’s guiding hand—via social media, presumably.

Miles is also joined by a more “spiritual” foil, Cara, played by Violett Beane.

God Friended Me Aims to Offer a Modern Take on Religion

Considering the often-polarizing subject of religion, the show aims to remain light and respectful, focusing on the concept of basic human goodness and our connectivity with each other—which theoretically sounds good in our divisive times.

Show creators Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt (“Alcatraz”) claim that they’re seeking to find the “middle ground between a believer and a nonbeliever.”

Overall, the market for religion-based programming has been strangely stagnant among viewers, despite a veritably large segment of the population that subscribes to a faith.

It’s not necessarily without effort from Hollywood: there have been several recent attempts at the subject matter, but mostly with little success among audiences: CW’s “Reaper”, Fox’s “Wonderfalls”, NBC’s “The Book of Daniel”, and ABC’s “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” and “Eli Stone”.

TV Writer-Producer Michael Schur has scored recent success with NBC’s “The Good Place”—although not overtly religious, it taps into broader themes of spirituality such as the afterlife.

“Religion is tribal,” Schur explained. “And people who strongly believe in one religion, it’s a zero-sum game—and you mostly do not believe in another religion or the tenets of another religion. [This] causes a lot of friction, and it’s dicey to talk about, especially on TV in a quick way—in 21 minutes or whatever. Ethics is not tribal.”

“God Friended Me” is making efforts to be more inclusive and contemporary, with its references to social media, technology, and the current generation of millennials. Its creators also stress that they will not promote any one religion.

Along with creators Bryan Wynbrandt and Steven Lilien, it will be produced by Greg Berlanti (“Dawson’s Creek”, “Riverdale”).

“God Friended Me” premieres Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on CBS.

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34 Comments

  1. Ronald Gifford September 30, 2018

    no

    Reply
  2. Josh Schwien September 30, 2018

    I think what you’re really asking is if the Christian religion does and yes it does. It’s called freedom. Don’t like it then don’t watch it. That’s what I’ve done with 90% of the shows on TV bashing Trump and peddling retarded socialism. I even mute the daily show commercials so I don’t have to hear that morons generic Trump bashing bullshit but am I crying and demanding shows I don’t like be cancelled? No because I’m no retarded

    Reply
    1. Aj Kade September 30, 2018

      Josh Schwien why only christian? Its called freesom? Then why would it matter what religion it is?

  3. Richard Whiteman September 30, 2018

    No.

    Reply
  4. Mary Cecilia Rahimzadeh September 30, 2018

    If u wanna watch go for it .. its probably Christian.. if you don’t want to watch change the channel.. I’ll be changing the channel..

    Reply
  5. Judy Lewis September 30, 2018

    Yes,need more of it instead of gays and lesbians making out.

    Reply
    1. Kjack October 16, 2018

      Oh, sorry. There are lesbians in it now. Guess they lost you.

  6. Janice Castellanos September 30, 2018

    ✝️ Truly!!! 👼🏻😇

    Reply
  7. Paul Walley September 30, 2018

    Since this is a pilot, I would like to see the next episode. Tonight’s was intriguing in seeking
    the “middle ground” for those who may be exploring spirituality or belief in a Creator. It’s
    a bold venture and I will watch next week.

    Reply
  8. Juan Reynoso October 1, 2018

    Do not let the acts of few criminal priests, destroy your faith; in God. We trust, our God is a God of purpose, God gives us the rules for us to follow and always want the best for us; God gives us the freedom to make our own decisions and also the responsibility to follow the word of God.
    The church is a place of fellowship, but you can worship God in any place, you don’t have to go to any church to show your love for our God and his son Jesus.
    Priests, supposed to guide us into morality and to believe the teaching of Jesus Christ, to love one another and live in harmony with all of God creation. But Few criminals priests should not destroy our faith in God. At the end we are the ones that have to account to God for our Dees, and we cannot deceive God; he knows what is in our mind, what is in our hearth, what we did yesterday and what we will do tomorrow; we are not perfect but we should always do our best to follow the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Does following this Golden Rule affect our relationship with God and His answers to our prayers? I think it does.
    Trust is a valued character trait often lacking in today’s world. We have to learn to trust God in every circumstance and in every area of our lives.
    Friends, whenever we betray trusting fellow men or women in any way, we betray God; also we must know that it is devastating to the person who trusted us. Please be true to people. To have a good relationship with people is God’s blessing.
    God teaches us to trust.
    https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/trust-bible-verses/
    http://teachings-of-jesus-christ.org/

    Reply
  9. John Grier October 6, 2018

    Yes! Religion always has. True Godliness is what hasn’t, and shouldn’t. You know you’re seeing religion on prime time when you see racism, corrupt american governmental politics, the oppression of the poor, black people being demonized by the jewish (european caucasians) media, etc. Yes! Religion has its place on prime time. Seems as though white people (european caucasians, jews, gentiles) have always been (according to scripture) the enemies of THE MOST HIGH because they’re children of the devil. It’s sad but true.

    Reply
  10. Josh Schwien October 6, 2018

    Again with this shit. I believe you’re asking if the Christian religion does and yes it does. If it was a show that focused on say the Muslim religion you’d be praising them as champions paving the way for others. If you’re not religious or aren’t into it DON’T WATCH IT! I can’t stand the hundreds of generic lib shows that don’t have a shed of Truth in them. You know what I do? I DON’T WATCH THEM. Only unacceptable things in this country now are white christians

    Reply
  11. Rina Davis-van Tuil October 6, 2018

    NO, absolutely NOT! Religion belongs in a church, at home or in your heart! Do NOT shove religion on people!

    Reply
    1. Marea Hammons Kline October 6, 2018

      change channels moron

    2. Rina Davis-van Tuil October 6, 2018

      Marea Hammons Kline you must be one of the many hypocrits! I know where my religion is!

    3. Ed Eichner October 6, 2018

      Rina Davis-van Tuil I’m athiest but we have freedoms they can make any movie they want it’s up to each person to make there own choices in viewership

  12. Betty Major October 6, 2018

    You can always change channels. So many don’t appear to be godly just tax free money makers

    Reply
  13. Larry L. Cunningham October 6, 2018

    Don’t have to watch it!

    Reply
  14. John Gagne October 6, 2018

    Sure beats the walking dead!

    Reply
  15. Frank Renew October 6, 2018

    Don’t watch.

    Reply
  16. Fred Latimer October 6, 2018

    Absolutely NOT! Let the damn Evangelicals get along with the stupid congregations they have in their mega
    “Churches”.

    Reply
  17. Xavier Pichardo October 6, 2018

    I think it’s refreshing.

    Reply
  18. Lo Lepere October 6, 2018

    Yes, but I don’t watch TV….I’d like to see it on Netflix or Amazon Prime

    Reply
  19. Janis Roberts October 6, 2018

    No

    Reply
  20. Dawna Roberts October 6, 2018

    I like it

    Reply
  21. Theresa Davidson October 6, 2018

    Yes absolutely

    Reply
  22. Jason Self October 6, 2018

    Nope, nope aaaaaaand no.

    Reply
  23. Joyce Blackburn October 6, 2018

    Religion can be any where, radio, TV, social media, or in a church, but I don’t have to listen to it any more than I have to listen to any other program I don’t want to hear. Any sports show never is turned on in my house, nor are any so called sitcom’s on now days. I am old enough to know what I want watch and what I enjoy. Now I can’t speak for others because maybe they are to little or to babyish to turn off what they don’t like.

    Reply
  24. Magick Blair October 6, 2018

    How many people actually walk the “Christian” talk? Judging by the state of the world…not many.

    “Do unto others…?”. People do shit to others as individuals or groups, then cry foul when the shit flies in reverse. More people died over religion than any other occupation…AND…blind Faith is the REASON?

    1. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
    2. Thou shalt steal.

    Hmmm…

    RELIGION = Substitute for RELATIONSHIP.

    TEXTING=Substitute for direct speech.

    Is this what we leave the future?

    Reply
  25. Linda Myrick October 6, 2018

    I watched last Sunday…..enjoyed it

    Reply
  26. Michaele Brown Smith October 6, 2018

    It isn’t religion unless a particular church is involved.

    Reply
  27. Jose R. Rivera October 6, 2018

    I Don’t watch that kind of crap.

    Reply
  28. Linda Krider October 6, 2018

    Yes

    Reply
  29. Jeff Kendall October 6, 2018

    Nope!

    Reply

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