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Friday, December 09, 2005

Things That Couldn't Happen Today

I've long argued that the Dukes of Hazzard could never be approved as a television show today. Can you imaging a network executive saying, sure, we'll green light the show about the southerners who drive around in a car with a confederate flag across the top of it. The fact that the car was named the "General Lee" and the horn played "Dixie," would have made the decison to send this show into the trash bin a slam dunk.

Similarly, can you imagine a television network executive approving a script for an animated special that quotes directly from the Bible? The Charlie Brown Christmas is special because it is like a small glimpse of our almost forgotten past.

"And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid ... And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord."

"And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men."

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
- Linus Van Pelt

You can listen to Linus' quote, right here.

Yes, I know that executives even then were wary of the religious language -- but they didn't stop the project because of it. I don't think this show would see the light of day on network television today.

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