I have long said that faith television is just good television. Saints And Sinners is leading the pack even though, it is not available on main cable.
Last week’s episode (“Hustle is Still the Hustle”) on Sunday, March 13 set a viewership record with 1.5 million unduplicated viewers across its two premiere airings, a 15 percent increase over the series debut on Sunday, March 6.
Here is what the team at Bounce is doing that others should take note of and apply in their cast moves.
#1 The show highlights the use of a strong acting ensemble.
Saints & Sinners stars Vanessa Bell Calloway (Shameless, Coming to America); Christian Keyes (Mistresses, Let’s Stay Together); Keith Robinson (Dreamgirls, This Christmas); Clifton Powell (Ray, Murder in the First); Gloria Reuben (Mr. Robot, ER); J.D. Williams (The Wire, The Good Wife); Jasmine Burke (The Vampire Diaries, Army Wives); Afemo Omilami (Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Forrest Gump) and Richard Lawson (Numb3rs, Wag the Dog). All of these actors and actresses have a wealth of experience and skill. This skill translates into their ability to portray deeply torturous complex characters. The viewer is transported to the realm of Greater Hope Baptist Church. None of the violence and sex is a not a cheap afterthought. You truly believe you are looking in from a window or door.
#2 ‘Saints & Sinners’ showcases complicated characters with perplexing issues.
With the return of a prodigal sons and a shocking crime that rattles the core of the community, long-kept secrets, deceit, jealousy and compromising sexual affairs threaten to demolish the heart of the church and shatter the lives of those within it.
- Lady Ella Johnson carries the scars of sexual temptation and vanity.
- Her husband was trapped in the struggle of pride and paid the ultimate cost.
- Music minister Max Calloway isn facing career stagnation.
- Christie faces the disappointment of not having her dream of pastoral leadership blessed by her father.
All of these issues are deeply rooted in spiritual struggles in the world.
#3 Real church issues and appointments are handled in a faithful way.
Greater Hope Baptist Church is the heartbeat of Cypress, GA, a large southern town outside Atlanta. As times changed and Cypress grew, so did Greater Hope’s influence. With the return of a prodigal son and a shocking crime that rattles the core of the community, long-kept secrets, deceit, jealousy and compromising sexual affairs threaten to destroy the heart of the church and shatter the lives of those within it. Levi Sterling’s character moves the needle in grabbing the rudder and addressing what happens when a tragedy befalls a church. The devastation of losing a shepherd can rip a church apart if there is not steady hand. Levi and Christie, the pastor’s beloved daughter, did exactly what was needed logically and realistically.
These are the things that set the show above others with quality. The writers and producers are not pushing scandalous behavior to make you tune in. They are telling a quality story with realistic twists.