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NBC affiliates pulling plug On ‘God, the Devil and Bob’

LOS ANGELES (BP)–More than 17 National Broadcasting Company television affiliates have pulled the plug on “God, the Devil and Bob,” a controversial animated sitcom that features a beer-swilling Diety who has a girlfriend.

The sitcom, which debuted March 9, has created a nationwide uproar among Christians and other religious groups who claim the program is blasphemous. Five NBC affiliates refused to air the March 9th pilot episode including stations in Mississippi, Idaho, and three other states.

In a press statement, NBC said it considers the show entertaining and hopes affiliates will eventually reconsider airing the show.

“It was never our intention to offend anyone,” the network said in a prepared statement.

South Bend, Ind.’s WNDU, which is owned by the University of Notre Dame, told the Associated Press that it wanted to air the program after “Saturday Night Live,” at a time when fewer children would be watching. The network declined.

Many of the stations said they were concerned about the show’s content. “Even though it’s a cartoon, it’s not a kids’ program,” said Doug Armstrong, general manager of KVTB in Boise, Id. “It has adult humor and themes, yet the marketing seems geared toward younger kids. Kids and families are our priority so we have asked NBC to schedule the program later in the evening.”

The growing list of affiliates pulling the plug on the show include stations in Mobile, Ala., Salt Lake City, Paducah, Ky., Monroe, La., Temple, Texas, Tyler, Texas, and Joplin, Mo.

According to Variety Magazine, “God, the Devil and Bob” has generated more preemption than the ABC police drama, “NYPD Blue.”

Executive Producer Harvey Myman told Variety, he was troubled by the affiliates not airing the show. “I hope it doesn’t have much of an impact on our numbers because I don’t think it should be a show that goes quietly away.”

In the series opener, a somber God, portrayed as an old, bearded hippie wearing a t-shirt and sneakers, considers destroying the world that appears to be unworthy of salvation.

He uses an autoworker named Bob to prove him wrong. The show also features a version of Satan with a British accent and a disdain for ballroom dancing.

The show has generated letters to the editor in a number of national newspapers as well as to the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.

One letter-writer called the show an “outrage.”

“It is our duty as Christians to do something about this nonsense. All of their sponsors should be boycotted until this blasphemous show is yanked from the air.”

    About the Author

  • Todd Starnes