: The Wall Street Journal reports (free link) that TV programmers are trying to exploit this God thing said to be sweeping the nation:

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….

“We try in the entertainment business to find veins of interest to tap, and religion is a huge one that is currently very underserved,” says Kevin Reilly, president of entertainment at NBC, which is set to begin airing “Revelations,” a six-part apocalyptic miniseries, next month.

Also weighing heavily on programming executives’ minds is President Bush’s re-election. In addition to giving religion a starring role, several shows this development season are set deep inside “red” states and feature ultraconservative characters in the mix. In fact, Walt Disney Co.’s ABC is looking at “Red & Blue,” about a conservative grandfather.

An essential rule of entertainment: If a show (or magazine or any media effort) starts with a creative vision that clicks, it will succeed. If it starts merely trying to pander to a demographic or a trend in polls, it’s likely to fail. But network programmers never learn that.

Having that said, a religous reality show would be a hoot. Churches are filled with drama, politics, what the American TV audience loves best: humiliation. I can’t wait for ConfessionalCam.

: See also my post yesterday: Jumping the shark for Jesus