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A Prickly TV Topic: a Priest's Life

The idea that priests, like all men, are not perfect might seem like a tame one. But NBC's effort to translate the premise into a TV series has brought protests that the show is anti-Christian. Jack Kenny is the creator and executive producer of The Book of Daniel.

Kenny describes the show as a story about an essentially good man trying to do the best he can under the intense spotlight of having to be perfect. Actor Aidan Quinn plays Rev. Daniel Webster, an Episcopalian priest who must navigate a chaotic dysfunctional family life along with complicated church politics.

In the series, Webster talks to Jesus, who appears in robe and sandals. The conservative group the American Family Association has condemned the show as anti-Christian and in turn, advertisers have shied away from the show. The Book of Daniel premiered on Jan 6; five NBC affiliates refused to air the episode.

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Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by the unique approach of host and executive producer Terry Gross. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says the San Francisco Chronicle.