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Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

I just received the following email from Phil Vischer about upcoming Christian TV shows on a “mini-network” called JellyTelly. I wasn’t able to hear the sound from the videos but the newsletter suggested the Christians shows are meant to address kids’ biblical illiteracy and compete with secular networks such as Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

Honestly, I think if they can pull this off business-wise, it’d be great. When I used to watch some of these shows with my younger cousin, I’d have to qualify every underlying message I felt compelled to bring up. Watching secular television without a developed Christian worldview is a uphill battle. Some common themes I saw on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel included, secular love, dating, romance and marriage, portrayal of maliciousness toward other kids as humor, lying, and disobeying parents. Add secular music, and educating a kid with a biblical worldview is a losing battle. I can’t censor every song she listens to on Disney radio.  It’s no wonder she already has a “boyfriend.”

Anyways, I digress. Below is the newsletter and the links:

November 2008

Dear FFP (friends and fans of Phil!) …
We’ve launched! After three years of work, we just launched JellyTelly – our new kids “mini-network” – at www.JellyTelly.com!

Every day on JellyTelly kids can watch 20 minutes of “mini” TV shows and play online games while learning about the Bible and their faith. Biblical illiteracy is a huge problem in the church, and we think we can help address it in the same way Sesame Street tackled basic literacy back in the 60s and 70s.

Beyond that, by collaborating with other Christian producers we are planting the seed for what could become an alternative to Nickelodeon® and the Disney Channel® – a tiny kids network that can help raise the next generation of Christians while launching the next generation of Christian storytellers. It’s an exciting time – the most fun I’ve had since we launched VeggieTales® out of a spare bedroom way back in 1993!

To hear more about the mission of JellyTelly, watch this video. To see a sample of our programming and meet Buck Denver, Clive & Ian, the Bentley Brothers, Dr. Schniffenhowzen, Agnes & Winnefred, and Quacky the Duck, watch this clip.

We’ve got a great opportunity to launch the next phase of Christian kids media, and you can be a part of it. Check it out at www.JellyTelly.com/!
Phil Vischer

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Christians debating War.

Why do professing Christians pretend to be followers of Jesus Christ when they dont believe in the Bible?

Check out the Manning guy and the Bishop guy.

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TV bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman hopes to work out a deal to avoid extradition to Mexico. Dog’s capture of Andrew Luster, who had fled the country during his trial on charges he raped three women, catapulted the 53-year-old bounty hunter to fame. Luster is now serving a 124-year prison term.

dogbehindbars.JPGDog and his crew had gone to Mexico to grab the guy on rape charges, but were arrested themselves when they refused to hand him over to Mexican authorities. It was the case that blew Dog to fame and led to his reality show, and now he’s been arrested and faces an extradition hearing to Mexico for it.

What do we do with a guy who put a rapist behind bars? Extradite him to a corrupt country who respects no human rights? More.

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Who is really to blame here?

Phil’s post responding to the accusation of compromise for money stated,

“I decided to continue primarily as a favor to Classic Media and my friends at Big Idea, who would have been in a major pickle if I had abandoned the project just a few weeks before the first air date.  (We didn’t find out about the need for the cuts until early August, about two weeks before delivering the first episode.)”

Again, why are people accusing Phil Vischer first? A post from Tim of Random Observations concludes this about NBC’s double-standard,

“Rock star desecrating famous symbol of the Christian faith? No problem. You are special, and God loves you? Not allowed.

NBC defended that the reason for the cuts were in order to reduce the DVD length episodes to 30 minutes. But Phil Vischer’s post explains that he was asked by NBC and Big Idea to modify the Veggie Tale episodes to half-hour segments in the beginning. In an article by WorldNetDaily he states,

“As a guy deeply involved with the project, I know that statement is false,” Vischer wrote on his own weblog. “We sent them our first episode for TV, which was already edited to EXACTLY the right length, and they rejected it because, at the end, Bob the Tomato said, ‘Remember kids, God made you special and he loves you very much.’ They demanded we remove that line. The show wasn’t too long, it was too religious.”

A day after NBC’s original defense, the Los Angeles Times wrote an article:

“After first blaming time constraints as the reason certain references to God were cut from a popular children’s television series, NBC on Friday acknowledged that the edits were made because the network did not want to appear to be advocating any religion.”

Although many Christians pointed to NBC’s hypocrisy by including Madonna hanging on a cross with a crown of thorns, NBC has fortunately decided to remove the scene.

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I was inspired after reading a post about NBC’s decision to censor parts of the video series, Veggie Tales. The post suspected that Phil probably did it for the money.

Upon further searching I found an article by Christianity Today, revealing that Big Idea Productions, the original animation studio, was sued for breach of contract by Lyrick Studios leading to an award of 11 million in damages.

This lawsuit was due to the Big Idea Productions decision to change distribution from Lyrick Studios to Warner Brothers after the original owner Dick Leah sold his company to HIT Entertainment, Dich Leah dying from a tragic fall shortly thereafter.

Thus, Veggie Tales is not owned by Phil, but Classic Media, whom won it after an auction that liquidated Big Idea Productions. Although another article by Free Republic, does reveal that Phil Vischer did have some input in the changes and the network agreement. I am skeptical after after reading his personal account at philvischer.com, as well as the article in Christianity Today that Phil was motivated by money.

For a related article on NBC’s censorship see Al Mohler’s article on Veggie Tales.

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