on Sep 23, 2006
Steven left a link to this story in the comments here: Veggie Tales is to be broadcast on TV, but all religious references are to be stripped out. I’d love to know how they plan to do that. Veggie Tales is a kids show with musical numbers. Some of the songs mention God in the lyrics. Those songs would have to be re-written, re-recorded, and then the show re-cut. Every show ends with Bob and Larry going over to the computer to read “today’s verse”. Bob’s ending catchphrase is, “God made you special, and He loves you very much!” If they take God out of the show, it will be quite a bit shorter and make a lot less sense.
What I don’t understand is why the sides agreed to this in the first place. What in the world made NBC want this show? NBC makes this sound perfectly routine, to sign up a show that is totally at odds with their broadcast standards. Big Idea claims they had no idea their show would have to be edited like this, and say they never would have signed the papers if they had known. I find it hard to believe that these contracts were signed and somehow nobody mentioned how this was going to go. Editing – particularly tricky editing like this – costs money and often requires voice actors to come in and lay down some new dialog. Who is going to do this editing? NBC? How did they get permission to edit the show like this? At best, it sounds like the Big Idea legal team didn’t do their job, and NBC was probably at least a little deceptive or misleading. At worst, Big Idea is outright lying.
All of this just confirms my fears that this was a terrible idea to begin with. Phil Vischer (one of the show’s creators, and the voice of Bob the Tomato) is still excited: “Isn’t it great that Veggie Tales is on TV?” Well, no. Who cares? Imagine how the secular / non-Christian types will react when they decide they like the show, buy one of the videos, and get the raw, uncut, explicit version that talks about You-Know-Who. I think they are going to feel like they were duped, suckered in. Christians who like the show already own the videos. So who is the show for?
Now, I’m all for wholesome entertainment that is still, you know, entertaining. I’m weary of the crass booger & fart jokes that are strung together to make kids giggle, and one can only take so much of the “Kipper” shows – television so harmless that it is devoid of content. Something witty yet wholesome is a worthwhile goal, and I’d admire them if Big Idea made another show that was aimed at television with this goal in mind. But the way this happened is just awful. It’s lies and money and will lead to a chopped-up TV show that doesn’t make any sense and won’t please anyone.
On a lighter note, Pizza Angel!
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.