TUESDAY IN HOLY WEEK
April 18, 2000
volume 11, no. 76
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

BBC UNDER FIRE FOR SIDELINING RELIGIOUS PROGRAMS

    LONDON (CWNews.com) - Britain's national television corporation has come under fire for scheduling its Holy Week religious programs during the "graveyard" shift.

    The cast and producer of "Easter Tales," a series of short religious dramas, have accused the BBC of shunting the series to just before midnight because it deals with religion. Norman Stone, who produced the new series, told The Sunday Telegraph that it had suffered from "an ancient knee-jerk reaction that religion must be put on late because it won't attract an audience."

    "The order came from the highest echelons of BBC1," said Stone. "Once it had been clearly categorized as religious, there seems to be an unwritten rule that whatever comes out of that department is pushed back to as late as can possibly be. But given the fact that this is Easter and these are top-quality stars, they could hold their own any time from 7:30 pm. I think television has to wake up to the fact that religious programs can be of sufficient interest and quality to get major audiences."

    The veteran actor Joss Ackland, who plays Barabbas, said he was saddened by the fact that his episode will be shown at 11:40 pm on Holy Thursday. "So many things are thrust aside because they are too intelligent," he said. "Religion is a dangerous subject, as far as they are concerned, because it considers something more than just car chases. My piece was a thrill to do because it was such a wonderful piece. But it has got me really riled because there has been no promotion of it."

    The Rev. Ernie Rea, the head of BBC religious broadcasting, said: "It was felt that because these dramas are considered, thoughtful pieces, they suit the later evening slots when the audience has time to sit and enjoy them."

          

April 18, 2000
volume 11, no. 77
NEWS & VIEWS

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