The Book of Daniel is a television melodrama with political and religious undertones that aired on NBC in early 2006. The main character, Reverend Daniel Webster (Aidan Quinn) is an Episcopal priest with a wife (Susanna Thompson) addicted to mid-day martinis and three children (two adopted) with a knack for getting in trouble, who occasionally talks to Jesus (Garret Dillahunt).
The show follows Rev. Webster as he deals with a colourful range of problems: his daughter selling pot, one of his sons getting bashed for being gay, the other being rejected by his girlfriend’s family for being of Chinese descent, his brother-in-law disappearing with church funds, and so on.
When the show premiered on January 6, 2006, it was met with some criticism from religious groups and accused of undermining Christian values, mainly because it tried to wrestle Jesus away from the religious right. Several of NBC’s affiliates even refused to air it. It did, however, receive a few pats on the back too for having a liberal priest for its main character.
The network originally planned to air 13 episodes, but decided to cancel the show only weeks after it had premiered. The last episode aired on January 20 and NBC made the formal announcement on January 24. The remaining episodes were streamed online and the DVD came out in September 2006.
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Aidan Quinn (Rev. Daniel Webster), Garret Dillahunt (Jesus Christ), Susanna Thompson (Judith Webster), Bishop Beatrice Congreve (Ellen Burstyn), Christian Campbell (Peter Webster), Alison Pill (Grace Webster), Ivan Shaw (Adam Webster)
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