ABC’s new biblical drama, Of Kings and Prophets, premiered yesterday and already it’s receiving some serious backlash. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Parents Television Council has heavily criticized the new series for its sexual and violent content.
Of Kings and Prophets stars Ray Winstone, Olly Rix, Simone Kessell, and James Floyd in fictionalized versions of Old Testament stories.
In a statement, PTC president Tim Winter said the series “demonstrates a disconnect” between the entertainment industry and family audiences:
The real question here is, why wouldn’t ABC and the show’s producers want to reach the largest audience possible by making a series based on the Bible able to be viewed by families? Instead it appears that their primary objective was to be edgy and explicit, rather than to entertain with a biblical story. And in so doing, they’re carving away a large percentage of their potential market. This further demonstrates a disconnect between what the entertainment industry wants to produce and what family audiences want to consume.”
Earlier this winter, series showrunner Chris Brancato said Of Kings and Prophets would be “violent and sex-drenched”:
We’re going to go as far as we can.… This story is an Old Testament [one that’s] violent [and] sex-drenched. It’s one of the world’s first soap operas.… You will watch a show that is tasteful but that also tells the story you can read if you want to pick up the Bible.”
On their website, the PTC has further responded to the series by asking advertisers to “carefully consider content before advertising on Of Kings and Prophets”:
It is our sincere hope that advertisers take heed and choose to put their sponsorship dollars towards programming that isn’t saturated with sex and violence and which could harm children.”
So far, Of Kings and Prophets is not performing particularly well in the ratings. Last night’s premiere only received around 3.3 million viewers.
What do you think? Did you watch the premiere of Of Kings and Prophets? Did you find it glaringly inappropriate? Do you agree with the Parents Television Council?