ABC’s Of Kings and Prophets Faces an Uphill Battle

RAY WINSTONE

If you’re trying to make a hit show on cable TV suitable for network television and achieve the same success as said cable TV show then you’re in for a very tough challenge.  But that’s what ABC’s “Of Kings and Prophets” is trying to do.  Let’s face it.  There’s never going to be another Game of Thrones (though The 100 is about as close as you’ll get) and to even try to replicate this show but do it on network television is just asking disaster.

Set in 1000 B.C., Of Kings and Prophets stars Ray Winstone as King Saul, who’s trying to unite the 12 tribes of Israel and fight off threats ranging from the former shepherd/future king David (Olly Rix) to the Prophet Samuel (Mohammad Bakri), who believes resurrecting a generations-old war with the Amalekites is God’s will. Oh, there’s also the matter of the encroaching Philistine army.

As TV Guide points out: Tuesday’s premiere is all style and no substance – a jumbled head-scratcher that will leave everyone but the most devoted Bible readers confused about who’s warring and sleeping with whom, and why. But maybe that’s the point. Judging from the pilot, the show is much less interested in character development than it is in showing gory violence and sex. (Brancato again: “violent … sex-drenched … it’s one of the world’s first soap operas”).

We’ll let you be the judges but come on ABC, don’t try to be HBO.

Of Kings and Prophets premieres Tuesday at 10/9c on ABC

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