Television Review: “The Preachers” Talk Show

There is a new, unprecedented talk show that airs live daily (Monday through Friday) on Fox entitled, “The Preachers.”  The hosts consist of four well-known African-American male preachers of megachurches including Pastor Jamal Bryant, Associate Pastor John Gray, Pastor Orrick Quick, and Pastor E. Dewey Smith. The title of the show, “The Preachers,” is a misnomer because the panel discussions cover a wide range of topics.  The show begins with the preachers praying and ends with a segment called “90 Seconds of Hope.”  The last segment is a sermonette addressing a topic discussed earlier in the show.

The show is airing live for a three-week daily (Monday through Friday) trial period. There is comradery amongst the preachers providing a good dynamic.  There is no competition or upstaging between the panel members as they share their different viewpoints.   The foursome endeavors to engage all people in open, honest conversations on a variety of topics mixed with humor.  They do not seek to condemn, judge, or lecture their guest(s).  Thus far, they have been objective and respectful of their guest(s) whose views may differ from Christian doctrine.

Due to the uniqueness of the show, the producers along with the hosts are still trying to find the proper blueprint that will allow them to build quality content.  It is evident that are not shy about discussing hot button issues.  To date, the panel has engaged in topics including medicinal marijuana usage, open marriages, and the Black Lives Matter movement.  They have featured celebrity guest including Tichina Arnold, Monique, and Sherri Shepard.

There are mixed reviews from the viewing public.  Proponents of the show find it humorous, refreshing, and entertaining.  However, only in its first week of airing both the hosts and the talk show has fallen under scrutiny.  There are some who criticize the foursome’s responses to the worldly views and alternate lifestyles of their guest(s).  Pastor Bryant’s response to an open marriage segment featuring comedian and actress, Monique, along with her husband raised some eyebrows.  Bryant, whose infidelities lead to the demise of his marriage, jokingly commented that he had an open marriage, but his ex-wife was not aware.  Critics have raised the question, “Should this show be broadcasted on the Fox network?”

I believe that this show will draw the Spiritual but not Religious (SBNR), the disenfranchised, and the excommunicated to watch because it is not the typical religious programming.  I believe that honesty and transparency of each host along with their testimonies makes them relatable.  The show is not a worship services with an altar call emitting a fire and brimstone hellbound message.  It is a talk show consisting of wonderfully flawed men who are not ashamed to admit that they need God in their lives.

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