Fun_People Archive
9 Mar
The "Happy Coincidence" in God, the Devil, and Bob

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu,  9 Mar 100 10:47:47 -0800
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Subject: The "Happy Coincidence" in God, the Devil, and Bob

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Monday March 6 8:35 PM ET

 Two NBC Affiliates Frown on 'God' Cartoon

 By Steve Gorman

 LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - From the unseen voice speaking to Moses in the
 biblical epic ``The Ten Commandments'' to the 1977 hit comedy ``Oh, God,''
 starring George Burns, the Lord has been no stranger to show business.

 But now two NBC affiliates in America's heartland are refusing to air an
 upcoming animated series in which the Almighty appears as a dead ringer
 for the late rock guitarist Jerry Garcia, with a voice supplied by veteran
 actor James Garner.

 KSL-TV in Salt Lake City and KPVI-TV in Pocatello, Idaho, have said they
 will not broadcast the new NBC series ``God, the Devil and Bob,'' which
 premieres on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST, right after ``Friends,'' network
 officials said on Monday.

 An NBC spokeswoman said the two affiliates found the show to be in poor
 taste, and one source at the network predicted that a few other stations,
 most likely in the Bible Belt, would decline the program.

 The series centers on the day-to-day life of Detroit autoworker Bob Alman,
 voiced by actor French Stewart (''3rd Rock from the Sun''), who has been
 hand-picked by the Devil in a wager with God to see if mankind is really
 worth saving.

 Thus, Bob finds himself caught in a grand struggle between good and evil as
 he copes with routine problems at work and home -- a struggle made more
 difficult by his own weaknesses for such earthly pleasures as drinking and
 strip clubs.

 In the first episode, God accompanies Bob into a bar and shares a beer with

 ``Does Not Meet Our Standards''

 ``Our management group looked at an advance copy of the show and decided it
 does not meet our standards of taste or quality during family viewing
 times,'' KSL-TV's management said in a statement released by NBC.

 KPVI officials could not be reached for comment.

 The show's producer, Matthew Carlson, said he anticipated some objections
 from religious groups but did not believe most viewers would find it

 ``I guess I'd like to think we're laughing with God, not at him,'' said
 Carlson, who was involved in the television series ''The Wonder Years''
 and created the short-lived comedy ``Men Behaving Badly.''

 ``It's not a religious show, it's a comedy, so we are going to be making
 some jokes,'' he said. ``It may be irreverent but certainly not

 Carlson said the casting of Garner, best known for his television roles
 on ``Maverick'' and ``The Rockford Files,'' as the voice of God was
 designed in part to provide a certain ''comfort level'' for viewers.

 As for the God character's resemblance to Garcia, the bearded founder of
 the rock band the Grateful Dead, Carlson called that a ``happy

 The WB network affiliate KUWB will carry the program in place of KSL in
 Salt Lake City, which ranks as the nation's 36th largest market. NBC is
 looking for an alternative outlet for Pocatello, which ranks as No. 166,
 a network spokeswoman said.

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