It's not surprising that ABC made the decision to cancel "GCB." What is surprising is that it took them so long to do it. The hour-long dramedy based on "Good Christian Bitches," a "semi-autobiographical novel" by Kim Gatlin, got a lukewarm reception from critics and viewers alike. Its nearly six-million viewer average put it on the proverbial "bubble," which means a network is vacillating about renewal.
I think It was the tremendous outcry from the very group it claimed to feature that finally pushed it over the edge.
The controversial One Million Moms group has been openly and vociferously boycotting the show from the start, posting on its website that, "We are outraged by ... a show that openly ridicules the Christian faith and depicts its followers as spiteful hypocrites."
True, many members of the cast and crew, Kristin Chenowith among them, said they were Christians and not offended by the content. Their general consensus was that it was all in fun and satirical, rather than spiteful.
My own religious beliefs are Christian-based but vague, and while I found the show amusing at times, and the source book vaguely entertaining, I didn't think there was a snowball's chance that devout Christians would appreciate the catty, ridiculous, and over-the-top antics of people who claimed to be true believers.
My suspicions were confirmed today, when a press release was released from a group called, "Movie Guide," whose tag line reads, "The Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment."
The founder and publisher of Movie Guide, family and child advocate Dr. Ted Baehr, said that ABC/Disney's cancellation of its bigoted show "GCB," which "mocked and ridiculed Christians," was a "victory for faith and values."
He went on to assert that the show seemed to fit into "old fashioned" stereotypes about Christians in the so-called Bible Belt; states like Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Georgia. "I thought we were supposed to condemn that kind of bigotry and bullying," he concluded.
It kind of makes you wonder what ABC was thinking when it gave the green light to the show in the first place, even if it was produced by Darren Starr, whose credits also include hits like "Melrose Place," "Beverly Hills 90210" and, most notably, "Sex and the City." Something tells me a show about scheming, silly, materialistic, Jewish or Muslim women, set in a temple or mosque, would never have seen the light of day.
It especially feels out of step coming from a company like Disney, which is reported to have been considering it to replace "Desperate Housewives," once that series ended on Sunday, May 13. There are plenty of shows with sex, drugs, and crime on ABC, but not many that poke such brazen fun at such a massive religion. If it were more clever, it might, just might, fly on premium cable, but not on a major network.
It was indeed a glitzy show, with a massive cast and elaborate sets on which no expense seems to have been spared. For Disney, it looks like the investment didn't pay off. You're not likely to see a lot of tears shed over the show's demise, however. With the outrageous success of "The Avengers," Disney can afford to forgive and forget, as the characters in "GCB" would likely do after "accidentally" spilling communion wine on a network executive's white dress.