• Writer Chris Brancato gives ABC’s ‘Of Kings and Prophets’ a new look

    Although ABC picked up the Biblical drama “Of Kings and Prophets” and prepared to go to series, the original pilot got a lukewarm reception from advertisers when they got a look at it in May. But the network believed enough in the concept — based on the Books of Samuel — to give it a second chance.

  • A 'most powerful woman' – National Geographic's major hat tip to the Virgin Mary

    Our Lady. Blessed Mother. Virgin Mary. Queen of Peace. Theotokos. Handmaid of the Lord. Mother Mary.

  • This Catholic nun is competing on Food Network's reality cooking show

    Fans of the Food Network’s competitive cooking show “Chopped” can look forward to a special appearance on Monday night’s episode – Sister Alicia Torres, a Catholic religious sister from the Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago.

  • Ric Burns and PBS recall our ‘Debt of Honor’ to disabled veterans

    On Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 9 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings for time and channel in your area), PBS premieres “Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History,” a new documentary by Emmy Award-winning director Ric Burns. Airing as part of PBS’ “Stories of Service,” it looks at the way that the American government and society have dealt with wounded warriors, from the Revolutionary War through the long war going on in the Middle East.

  • ‘Fargo’ redux

    Fargo is back … or is it?In its first season — which really wasn’t a season in the television vernacular, more like a self-contained serialized story arc — Billy Bob Thornton played the personification of cold-blooded evil and did it in a way that I found mesmerizing and pretty close to brilliant. The ending wasn’t as spellbinding for me, but the show was such a different piece of television that I forgave them.

  • Exorcisms for entertainment? Terrible idea, St Louis archdiocese tells cable network

    A television show’s promise of a live exorcism rite is more dangerous than it thinks, the St. Louis archdiocese warned on Thursday.

  • What’s in a name?

    During the 1970s, in response to public demand and federal government representatives, the three then-existing television networks established what they called the “Family Hour.” This was a time slot between 8 and 9 p.m. where the networks vowed to broadcast more family-friendly programming.


  • Muppets gone wild

    I have a confession to make. I never watched a complete episode of “Sesame Street” from start to finish, although I feel I know the show well because of the way it has become a cultural mainstay for more than a generation.

  • The King of Fantasyland

    Years ago I was standing in line to see the movie “Excalibur,” director John Bormann’s excellent and very stylistic version of the Arthurian legend.

  • Death in the afternoon … and in the morning and evening as well

    I did not watch the televised murder of news reporter Alison Parker and her cameraman Adam Ward in Virginia. I don’t watch ISIS beheading videos and when I detect something wicked this way coming on the TV I reach for the clicker.



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A blaze of praise

Father Ed Benioff

If you say nice things about my preaching — or my writing, or my shoes — I have to admit, I’ll be pleased. I’ll remember what you said. Pay me a compliment, and it may even change the course of my day. That’s the power of praise when it’s directed at another human being. For a moment, it makes us feel like we’re the object of admiration and even love.


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November 27, 2015

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