Last week, NBC quietly pulled the controversial Aidan Quinn show The Book of Daniel from its schedule. The series had aired four episodes with two left to be shown. NBC replaced the scheduled January 28th episode with an episode of Law & Order and the following February 3rd episode with an extended version of Dateline.
The reason for the show’s early demise is said to have been low viewership and declining advertising revenue. The series, which features a prescription-drug addicted priest who has a gay son and who also speaks with a corporeal Jesus Christ, has drawn a great deal of fire from conservative activists and religious groups.
NBC Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly acknowledged that the campaign against show may have had “some correlation” to the show’s lack of ad sales. “I think it was controversial material going in. Many of the advertisers indicated they were going to take a ‘wait-and-see’ approach before we even aired it.” In addition, several NBC affiliates refused to air the show.
Though millions watched the show, it’s highly unlikely that NBC will air the final two episodes. Though not promoting them, NBC is however making them available on its website.
The fifth episode, “Withdrawal,” was made available on January 28th, its originally-scheduled NBC air date. The sixth episode, “God’s Will,” is scheduled to be released on Friday, February 3rd. It’s unclear how long the episodes will be available.
The Book of Daniel on DVD (released on September 26, 2006).