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When ABC announced its intent to create a show called Good Christian Bitches—based on the popular Kim Gatlin book of the same name—some faith-based groups complained that such a title has no place on prime time television. ABC proceeded as planned, albeit with a concession: They changed the title to Good Christian Belles. Now they've changed it again, settling on GCB, but with no explanation of what the letters stand for.

No matter. What matters is whether the show (Sundays, 10/9c, premiering March 4; watch the trailer) is true to the spirit of Gatlin's book, which shines the spotlight on the ugly practice of gossip among believers—in her case, a circle of wealthy Southern Baptist housewives in a Dallas suburb. Gatlin has said that her novel, based on her true experiences, doesn't mock God, but "those of us who love God and don't always make the best choices to honor him." It isn't well written, but it boldly calls attention—even while dripping with satire—to one of the church's "lesser" sins, albeit a persistent and prevalent one.

If Sunday's pilot episode of GCB is any indication, it not only highlights the problem of gossip in the church, but underscores it with audacity and an exclamation point.

The story is told from the perspective of Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb), a Dallas native who was the ultimate Mean Girl in high school. But she'd spent most of her adult life in California raising a family—until her philandering husband is killed in a car wreck in the pilot's opening scene. Amanda and her teenage kids, Laura and Will, move back to Dallas, where her wealthy mother welcomes her daughter home with open arms. As Amanda pulls into the driveway, former schoolmate Carlene Cockburn (Kristin ...

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March 2012

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