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Arts & Entertainment

Another affiliate
may drop Book of Daniel

Another affiliate
may drop Book of Daniel

A Hattiesburg, Miss., television station is the latest NBC affiliate to consider pulling from its programming The Book of Daniel, a controversial series about a pill-popping Episcopal priest and his conflicted family. WDAM-TV general manager Jim Cameron told the Hattiesburg American that the station has not yet decided if it will run the second episode of Daniel at its scheduled airtime of 9 p.m. Friday.

"At this point the issue is still under advisement," Cameron said. "Right now we're going over feedback with our viewers who saw the program, as we said we would. We will be making a decision whether or not to air the show again on Friday." WDAM chose to air the two-hour premiere episode of Daniel last Friday night after NBC affiliates in Terre Haute, Ind., and Little Rock, Ark., pulled the program. Since last week four more NBC affiliates, including WTVA in Tupelo, Miss., and WGBC in Meridian, Miss., have pulled the show.

Cameron addressed the issue in an on-air editorial Friday on WDAM. "I said [in the editorial] that I never thought it was a good show to begin with. It's not compelling television, it's not that well done, and I don't think it's going to last," Cameron said. The Tupelo-based American Family Association, self-described as "America's largest pro-family action site," has petitioned for a boycott of the program by advertisers and network affiliates. Cameron acknowledged that he spoke with the organization and that he believes a large number of the complaints he's received have come from AFA members.

The Book of Daniel, from gay creator Jack Kenny, tells the story of an Episcopal priest named Daniel Webster (actor Aidan Quinn), who is addicted to painkillers and must lead his congregation while dealing with an alcoholic wife, a gay Republican son, a daughter caught dealing drugs, and a brother embezzling from the church. Webster also has conversations with Jesus Christ (actor Garret Dillahunt), who appears throughout the show. (AP)

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