As the red-carpet award season prepares to wrap-up with the upcoming 91st Academy Awards later this month, television audiences have the opportunity to binge episodes they missed since broadcast premiere dates last September.
CBS, alongside network stations ABC, NBC, Fox and The CW premiered new pilot shows as a push to increase primetime ratings.
Among the CBS roster was the first-year “heartwarming spiritual drama” God Friended Me starring Brandon Micheal Hall as Miles Finer, Violett Beane as Cara Bloom, and Suraj Sharma as Rakesh. The comedic drama follows the trio as they tackle religion and faith in relation to social media. Miles Finer (Hall), the voice of the podcast: The Millennial Prophet, receives a Facebook friend request from an account calling itself ‘God’, the profile headlined with picture of a sole white cloud framed on a blue sky.
The God account communicates with Finer through his social media account, specifically via a series of Facebook friend suggestions. As the friend suggestions become more personal to Finer, connecting to his father’s church and discovering hidden hardships within his own “perfect” family, he gets closer to discovering the user behind the God account activity.
The feel-good drama in its premiere season shows how social media can unite our diverse society despite our differences.
In an article prior to the series mid-season hiatus, CBS highlighted the progress the show has made since premiering last fall. “God Friended Me, which focuses on a broader humanitarian message of love and acceptance, is equally interested in bringing people of all backgrounds and beliefs together,” CBS said.
After tuning in to watch an all-new episode every week, it’s easy to see why audiences are hooked. Despite the unlimited potential of a new show, predictability often times leads to a decline in demographic ratings. In this particular instance, however, the show’s framework allows audience members the opportunity to develop a relationship with regular cast members in addition to the anticipation of who the God account will send next.
As ratings statistics show, viewers are responding with positive reactions. Competing against the 76th annual Golden Globes and NBC’s NFC playoff football game, the CBS drama still pulled in 4.8 million viewers for the show’s 12th episode, according to The Wrap. Its next episode, on Jan. 13th, showed another increase with “…over 8.2 million viewers — its second-highest viewer total since October,” CarterMatt said.
So far this season, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the series. There are various aspects of the show that I enjoy each week. Moving into season two, I would be intrigued to see the network move God Friended Me to another time slot, where the show wouldn’t compete with Sunday sports audiences and the occasional Sunday special programming, award shows for example, to have more frequent episodes throughout the month. Altogether, I am looking forward to what show producers have in store for the premiere series.
“God Friended Me” doesn’t come without its flaws, but never fails to leave the audience with that feel-good emotion in their chest and motivation to start off Monday morning with a positive foot forward.
Series regular Joe Morton, known for his roles as Rowan Pope in Scandal and Silas Stone in the DC Comics Justice League, plays reverend Arthur Finer – Miles’s father. In an interview with Forbes in relation to his role on the series, Morton talks about the impact of God Friended Me in the community.
“Shows like ours, these kinds of shows, especially on a Sunday night, before you go to work on Monday—they give you a good feeling, that it is possible to be more friendly and hopeful. It makes you feel good,” Morton said.
Catch-up on the one-hour episodes of God Friended Me on the CBS app, available across most devices, or on CBS.com at any time.
God Friended Me is currently on CBS.