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 Networks weigh pilots with Biblical themes

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Now is the time in Hollywood when broadcast networks decide what shows TV audiences will want to watch in the season starting in September. Judging from several comedy and drama pilots now in progress that are already getting close consideration, America's couches will be turning into pews.

A splashy drama called "Book of Daniel" is in development at NBC, a unit of General Electric Co., while Viacom Inc.'s CBS is building a supernatural thriller around a character described as "a brilliant physicist with strong religious beliefs." News Corp.'s Fox, meanwhile, has "Briar + Graves," which the producers describe as "The X-Files" goes to church.

It's the television industry's answer to the cash-generating power of Biblical stories put through a pop-culture spin cycle. Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ" was one of the top box-office hits last year, and Dan Brown's novel "The Da Vinci Code" has sold 25 million copies. Meanwhile, author Tim LaHaye's biblical "Left Behind" novels have racked up sales of some $650 million.


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 2005/5/11 15:56Profile





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