CBS’s new series God Friended Me is not Highway to Heaven or Touched By Angel, executive producers wanted to make very clear to TV critics at TCA. That, though both NBC’s Highway and CBS’s Touched were quite successful long-running series.
Both those shows featured angels; this series does not. “There is nothing supernatural about our show,” EP Bryan Wynbrandt said.
CBS has described God Friended Me, from Greg Berlanti’s production house, as tackling questions of faith, existence and science. The network has described it as being about an outspoken atheist named Miles Finer, whose life is turned upside down after he is “friended” by someone claiming to be god on social media. Unwittingly, Miles (Brandon Micheal Hall) becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him.
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EP Steven Lilien said they want the show to “reflect 2018,” describing it instead as a show that is “hopeful, inspiring” and reminding viewers “we are all in it together and that there are really good people out there doing good things.” Hall’s character and his friends search for the actual guy behind the “god” account, which producers hope is a long journey hopefully answered in 200 episodes.
One TV critic wondered if they will incorporate real-world events going on in the world now, telling them she had just learned, via NPR, that the world is running out of sand. “So, how do you incorporate the reality we’re in and tell heartwarming stories?” she wondered, clearly upset by the sand news.
“I want to hear more about the sand,” Lilien deflected, getting a laugh. He drew her gently toward the notion the series is about how the regular characters are affected by the messages from “god” and how they support and help move forward their “friends of the week, people who are every day experiencing hardships.”
Asked what is Facebook’s involvement in the series, Wynbrandt said their conversations with the social behemoth focused on “how much we can portray it.”
“It’s important to make sure we are showing and using the Facebook world as close as we could, and it’s been accepted,” he said, declaring there is “no issue with Facebook.”
Joe Morton, who plays Miles’ preacher father, Rev. Arthur Finer, got asked if he ever considered that calling.
“I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic military school,” he responded. WHile he was drawn to the theatrically of the Latin mass, and for a “short period I thought I wantd to be a priest” it was “short” and he decided instead to go into acting. “I did not feel a calling to be a preacher,” he said.
The cast also includes Violett Beane (The Flash), Suraj Sharma (Homeland) and Javicia Leslie.
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