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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

Network TV Quoting Scripture in Prime Time?

Strange, but true, a new NBC series pilot episode centers on a verse from the book of Romans.

The event-mystery genre show Manifest bolted off the starting line on the opening night of the 2018/19 TV season, drawing 10.3 million viewers and claiming the number two spot in the ratings. But the big surprise had to do with a central theme of the pilot, Romans 8:28: "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

Yes, indeed, at the beginning of the show, as the family at the center of the story prepares to board a plane, one of the characters actually tells her daughter to take the verse to heart. And I'll give your three guesses as to the flight number. Drum roll, please...8-2-8! And the number of that Romans verse pops up later in the episode, too.

The plot of this Lost-esque show focuses on a plane that hits turbulence and lands five and a half years after it took off, though all aboard initially have no idea about their own disappearance. The unraveling of the mystery, and the consequences of that gap in their lives, will provide the story arc for the series.

It's not clear if there are to be more scriptures in the offing going forward. The show's primary theme is, however, one that's near and dear to every Christian heart, albeit in a different context. In a recent interview, Manifest's creator, Jeff Rake, explained.

"The show is ultimately about the possibility of redemption. The possibility of a second chance."

Make no mistake, this is a secular show, not a faith-based one. Christian Film Blog nevertheless marvels at the use of the Romans verse in a such a prominent way in the pilot.

If you're interested in learning more about the series, take a look at Mr. Rake's full interview with the Hollywood Reporter or check out the show's trailer.


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