ABC’s The View promoted the network’s Sunday night lineup on Friday, promising “Annie Potts takes on the Christian groups that are raising hell about her new hit show ‘GCB.’” Hit show? It lost by about four million viewers to “CSI Miami” on CBS.
Joy Behar quickly set up Potts to bash Newt Gingrich for bashing the show: “Newt Gingrich doesn’t like it. He’s said a few things about it...Good Christian husband that he is!” The audience laughed and applauded, and Whoopi Goldberg gave Behar a standing ovation. Then Potts took her turn with Newt:
POTTS: I did feel it was especially rich coming from him, that he called our little TV show un-Christian, and he was carrying on an affair while he was impeaching the President for doing the same! I say, ‘Look in the mirror, honey, [winks] I think our show might be for you.”
Gingrich’s adultery (especially during the Clinton impeachment) were immoral and the epitome of politcal arrogance. Potts is right that ABC’s show is all about suggesting that every Christian behaves just like Gingrich did. They skipped Newt's point about Islam, that ABC would never make a show full of oversexed, catty, hypocritical mosque-attenders. Perhaps because they couldn't show enough skin, unlike "GCB," which thrives on placing a cross into cleavage on a regular basis.
This isn't the first time Potts has been on a conservative-bashing show. "Designing Women" on CBS was produced by Clinton pals Harry Thomason and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. They even devoted a whole show back then to trashing Clarence Thomas and boosting Anita Hill.
Seconds before Potts came on -- imagine that coincidence of timing -- ABC ran a network promo for “GCB,” sticking with the “hit” lingo:
ANNOUNCER: It’s official! The mud-slingin’ gun-totin’ ladies of Dallas are a Southern-fried hit! Lust! Adultery! And a problem of Biblical proportions [implied impotence]...For good soapy fun, take a bite of Sunday’s new hit.”
The ad quotes the New York Daily News on the "good soapy fun," but they had the common sense to skip the second half of the NYDN headline: "ABC's latest ladies' ensemble could turn into good soapy fun — and no, it doesn’t mock Christianity".
This might suggest that TV critic David Hinckley is blind and deaf. He suggested "The Christian 'issue' should fade, soon, since nothing in the show mocks religion — just religious people with feet of clay. Ironically, the characters here spend more time in church than characters on any dozen other prime-time shows combined."
Let's repeat: the "issue" is that this show is a Hollywood cartoon of Christianity and of Dallas. There is not a "good Christian" to be found anywhere in it. The villains sling the Scriptures like rocks.
Hinckley is trying to pump up the show's performance as well:
"GCB" slipped a little in total viewers, from 7.56 million to 7.25 million, but even that number isn't so bad for ABC, since most new shows lose up to 20% of their viewers in the second week...ABC is hoping "GCB," which starts Leslie Bibb, Kristin Chenoweth and a large ensemble cast, will feed America's Sunday night hunger for goofy soaps once "Desperate Housewives" finishes its run this spring.
The network has been running crossover promotions in which the "Housewives" women hand their sassy attitude off to the "GCB" cast.