E! to offer new Christian series

by Karen L. Willoughby |

(Wikimedia Commons/Flickr)

LOS ANGELES (Christian Examiner) – It is too early to tell if it will be a comedy or drama, but what is known is that a new series is to be overtly Christian.

What is tentatively titled "Holy-wood" is to have a "millennial bent and follow various characters as they manage their ambitions and beliefs," said an individual with knowledge of the project.

At the moment it is an unscripted plot that focuses on a group of "over-the-top born-again Christians in Los Angeles," according to TheWrap, which is the leading digital news organization covering the business of entertainment and media.

The cast will be a mix of male and female, with at least one story arc focusing on reconciling faith and fame in a sexualized industry.

Holy-wood is in early development by the E! network, an American cable and satellite television channel owned by a subsidiary of NBCUniversal. As of August 2013, E! had an audience reach of more than 96 million households, or about 85 percent of all American households.

"This is nascent development and we don't comment on early development," an E! spokesperson said.

A synopsis on the E! website, however, offers this description:

"Dickie Silvers is a struggling regional actor who's overdue for a big break. Enter lifelong best friend and current manager Ian Hunter, who despite a gross lack of discretion, manages to land Dickie a steady stream of 'questionable bookings.' What ensures is a ridiculous series of hijinks that will either make their careers, or get them both killed. Whichever comes first, Holy-Wood is a tale of loyalty, love, and hopeful redemption."

Holy-wood, while a first for the E! network, would join a number of current shows with Christian themes and ratings that inspire industry chatter.

Bravo's "Thicker Than Water" posted 2 million total viewers for its season two finale in January, and it was high in the coveted 18-to-49-year-old ad demographic.

In addition to the controversial "flashy faith" of Oxygen's "Preachers of LA" and its spinoff "Preachers of Detroit," the Roma Downey/Mark Burnett juggernaut produced the highly-acclaimed "Women of the Bible" recently.

"The Bible" miniseries produced by Downey/Burnett ended up breaking viewership records in March 2013 and became the most-watched show in U.S. television on its premiere night, as well as the number one cable entertainment telecast for the year.

The E! network anticipates a similar positive response to its Christian series.

"Holy-wood aims to pack a lot of personality into its pews," according to TheWrap.