Bonanza of values-laden shows in the works.

Hollywood is more open to family entertainment than it has been for decades, and television and movie viewers already are seeing the results on their screens. Movie companies and broadcast networks searching for audiences are turning—perhaps reluctantly—to family-oriented entertainment, including the eagerly awaited CBS-TV adaptation of Catherine Marshall’s Christy.

Christians can credit cable and video competition for network television’s rediscovery of the family market, says Calvin College professor Quentin Schultze. “There’s chaos in the industry right now as to what the market is for broadcast network fare. The television industry is very open to trying just about anything to keep their losses to cable and the VCR minimal.”

Looking for a formula

“The audience will fall in love with Christy,” says producer Ken Wales of his TV series based on the best-selling book. “ ’Christy’ is a real breakthrough in terms of what we’ve seen on TV showing what a young girl’s faith can do.”

CBS will launch the weekly drama about a Christian schoolteacher in the Appalachians in January. The series will focus on Christy’s search for a purpose in her life. Wales says, “You see Christy’s faith in action by what she does, not what she preaches.”

Entertainment experts have high hopes for “Christy.” Schultze, who read the script for the premiere episode and visited the set, predicts it will be a success for CBS. Michael Medved, film critic for PBS’s “Sneak Previews,” told CHRISTIANITY TODAY, “I think ‘Christy’ is going to be a hit across the country. ‘Christy’ is going to really take off.”

“Christy” will join another network series that has garnered praise from Christian audiences, NBC’s “Against the Grain.” ...

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