About 10 years ago, they used to do a little more along this line via their radio news show. It was half decent.
I would say that the biggest problem for EWTN is that the shows, which have the potential to help people learn more about God and the Catholic Church, are too boring for most people to enjoy. The content is not shown in an interesting manner. Instead, EWTN seems more like religious education classes, which many people dislike. I think what the station needs to do is to brainstorm a little and come up with fun, and creative shows which most people will enjoy watching.
Now right now I am watching a show on EWTN that has great production value, content, and interesting factor. Parable is what I am talking about. It is simplistic yet very pleasing to the eyes with the commentary by the Saints in full garb and the CFR Priests along with the retreatants. Good mix of everything. It is different from their typical “sit in chair or couch interview” shows. I have enjoyed it quite a bit.
I’ve read some of the criticism, and I understand the view that the program could be more “entertaining,” but I don’t think that is EWTN’s focus.
Could some of the people who said make it more entertaining tell us exactly what they mean?
A Catholic situation comedy? A game show? A Catholic satire / comedy program a la Saturday Night Live? A Catholic Simpsons? A Catholic Star Trek?
I don’t think EWTN is trying or even wants to compete with tv land network television.
First, they certainly don’t have the budget to pay all those actors or ante up the money for game shows. Your talking about a mini-Christian Catholic outfit in Alabama versus NYC Network Behemoths loaded with zillions of advertising dollars.
And paid commercials can always affect the content, quality, and the subject matter of the programs. Cable TV, when it initially started out, had some quality / educational (even commericial free!) television on Bravo, A & E, TLC, and the Discovery Channel; now it’s almost 100% junk. The whole of commercial Cable TV is simply to attract eyeballs for commercials. Even the History Channel is has almost gone sour.
I think their model for their programs is Fulton Sheen. EWTN’s programs are essentially the equivalent of a college lecture on a topic concerning the Catholic faith: history, politics, doctrine, and then they have the interview programs.
While other stations provide “entertainment,” EWTN preaches and teaches the truths of the Catholic faith. The goal of the program isn’t to entertain you, such as having Captain Kirk fight the alligator-headed alien, but to instruct and inform you about Catholic Truth. Since EWTN is carried by cable providers as a free service (as far as I know), I don’t think EWTN wants to try to “dumb down” the programming to reach a mass audience.
It could be done, but you would essentailly be running a fourth TV network. That would mean you’d have to get commercial revenue from advertising. You’d need a lot of money to compete directly with NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX.
I think EWTN just sticks with the basics. Just like a Fulton Sheen program. Despite the vanilla flavoring of the programs, if one was to sit down and actually watch the programs, I think you’d start to understand the the programs deal with the “things that matter most,” and in every regard, are better programs than the garbage out there in tv land.
I love EWTN…if you want entertainment…watch TBN.:rolleyes: LOL That network is a bit bizarre, in general…although, on occasion they run Billy Graham marathons…which are always good to watch.
I think EWTN does the best it can being non profit. Please remember…they do not have commercials and secular advertising paying for it…they rely on people like us to support it. So…could be why some of the programming isn’t as nice looking as some other networks.
I recently saw This is My Body, a few weekends ago…it looked like a 10-15 minute play talking about how God gave His life for us…we should sacrifice to have our babies, instead of aborting them…it was wonderful…beautiful…I cried even. I think there are a lot of diamonds in the rough on that network…just have to stay tuned.
I would love to see EWTN do a Catholic version of “The View” as it was originally conceived; I envision something similar to what ChristianVet had to say:
"If they could get together a good News crew using the first 10 to 15 minutes for current daily events – straight no commentary. The second 15 minutes with opinionated commentary, such as Bill Donohue (from the Catholic League) and maybe the last half exploring “Catholic” issues that you never see covered in mainstream media.
Covering the Catholic issues would go beyond just Vatican news. I think they should cover contraversial as well as non-contraversial issues, and not be afraid to jump into the fray."
Let’s have a group of Catholic women (lay people and religious) talk about the issues of the day on EWTN - “The Catholic View: A Clear View of the Truth” (not to mention no Rosie O’Donnell or Barbara Walters - besides, who needs them when we have Puzzleannie? :D)
I agree. Most tv shows have tripped over themselves to do the lowest common denominator of reality shows…stupid stuff really. EWTN offers us information about the only reality that counts: God Himself.
FYI, the Donut Man is now Catholic. He was on the Journey Home last fall telling of his own journey to the Church.
I think the folks on the network do a fine job, limited mostly by money. When I visited, I was told that several of the people that work there have done professional work for much bigger bucks, but now prefer what they are doing for EWTN. The network gets no money from official sources, you know, only donations.
I love EWTN and in fact, whenever I’m home, I either have the TV tuned in to EWTN or ESPN. I was confirmed into the Catholic Church this past Easter, but started watching EWTN about 8 months ago. For years, as a Protestant, I flipped my remote right through it, but ever since my homecoming I’ve come to realize how much I was missing. I thank God it’s on the air today! I’ve learned so much from watching it, such as gaining a better understanding and familiarity with the Mass and the Rosary.
The programs are wonderfully varied in content! I’ve encouraged one of my Protestant friends to tune in to “Web of Faith” to help him better understand Catholic doctrines. “Christ in the City” is so marvelous with its erudite and eloquent priest, Fr. Rutler, and I’m actually planning to celebrate Mass at his Church of Our Saviour during a visit to NYC later this week because of this one program. “The Catholic Church Through the Ages,” which ended last week, was also fantastic, and it had a spirited episode where Fr. Connor unflinchingly addressed some of the controversies that arose following Vatican II. I could go on and on … EWTN is truly GREAT.
While the “look” of the programs may not be as polished as what you find on network shows, EWTN more than makes up for that by feeding your soul. I’ve never said to myself, after watching an EWTN program, “That’s 30 minutes (or one hour) of my life that I’ll never get back.” That last statement, by the way, is something you can say about a LOT of network and cable programming, which are spiritually barren and morally bereft.
Another thing I appreciate about EWTN is that, as a deaf person, I can’t tune in to Catholic radio. EWTN blesses me with captioned programs and I often learn far more from its shows, than I do from trying to read the lips of my priest when he gives his homily on Sundays during Mass.
Without exception, I’ve found every show I’ve watched to be very orthodox. I tremendously admire the staff of EWTN and I pray for them, as we all should. Their ministry is one that is powerful and carries great impact, whether their viewers are Catholic or curious non-Catholics.
That would be a GREAT show, inexpensive to produce, and could be both entertaining and enriching. It would also be very topical to the current news, so it could be made very relevant.
Another suggestion would be a show something like the PBS McGlauglin Group. One leader with 4 regular guests discussing the news from different points of view. Again, it could be produced inexpensively and would be topical. Something like that could easily focus on the various world political situations and how Catholics are affected, as well as by laws here in the US and Canada and how they affect Catholics. Perhaps they could discuss school vouchers, abortion, separation of church & state, plus international issues like Darfur, the killings of Christians in Iraq, Bosnia, etc.
Both of the above formats are similar, a group of people discussing things. But both are able to provide something that few shows on EWTN offer . . . lively discussion. Both would also be current news oriented, and both could start out the shows with 5 minutes of a ‘talking head’ reading the news headlines of what is about to be discussed on that week’s show.
Here’s the site that promotes the book: networkgonewrong.org/
Here’s a review from a traditionalist who says it’s a lie to assert that the network has gone downhill since Mother Angelica left because it was already a “pit of hell.”
Here’s the review of the book by Sungenis
Here’s the thread we just had discussing the book and review by Sungenis
Personally, I think the hubbub is silly. EWTN, while not perfect, is a wonderfully orthodox presentation of the Faith.
I emphatically agree.
Most Holy Family Monastery is sedevacantist. Christopher Ferrara is an SSPX schismatic. Robert Sungenis is (I think) SSPX also.
Just a bunch of radical traditionalist extremists who are upset because they don’t have their own cable channel. :rolleyes:
I was only providing relevant links. It’d be good to read them all as Sungenis defends EWTN and this is pointed out several times in the previous thread (third link) we had on this.
…and Sungenis is not SSPX.