NBC execs write final chapter in “The Book of Daniel”

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Earlier this month the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce joined with a number of concerned groups and individuals in calling on local NBC affiliate WSMV Channel 4 to return the controversial television drama “The Book of Daniel” to its line-up after the station joined six other markets in dropping the show citing viewer complaints.

Now, NBC has decided to drop the show from its schedule entirely. NBC executives point to poor ratings as the culprit. The series depicts an Episcopalian minister, played by Aidan Quinn, struggling with a Vicodin addiction, among other problems in his diocese. The show also depicted his wife as an alcoholic, his son as gay and his daughter as a marijuana dealer. Jesus is also a character on the series shown in imaginary conversations with the minister.

A mid-season replacement, "The Book of Daniel" drew a more-than-respectable audience of 6.9 million on its first night. By its fourth airing after most of the seven affiliates bailed on the show, the number had plummeted to 5.8 million viewers.

“Most reasonable people understand business decisions,” commented Chris Sanders president of the 165 member Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce.

“However, If NBC is bowing to pressure from a vocal minority then the GLBT community should work with freedom of expression advocates and religious moderates so that the networks remember that we are part of the viewing public too.”

For now NBC will be airing repeats of “Law & Order” in place of the dropped program.

Viewers can voice their opinion of the program by contacting WSMV-TV Channel 4 at programming@wsmv.com or at (615) 353-4444.

For more information about the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce, visit the organization at www.NashvilleGLBTChamber.org. For more information about “The Book of Daniel,” visit www.nbc.com/The_Book_of_Daniel/.