Having set themselves the weirdly specific hurdle of marketing and broadcasting a sexually explicit Bible epic on primetime network TV, ABC is struggling to find a way to handle its upcoming mid-season drama Of Kings And Prophets. The pilot for the series—which was described today by ABC exec Paul Lee as “muscular” (presumably because he couldn’t get away with calling it “grunting” or “glistening with sweat”)—apparently contains at least one sexually explicit scene that had to be “cut around” to make it on TV.
Talking to Variety, co-creator Adam Cooper suggested a possible solution to the problem of airing what sounds like a Game Of Thrones-esque cavalcade of blood and skin on network TV, where good proper Christians might tune in to watch a presumably wholesome adaptation of the Books Of Samuel: Shove all the sexy, violent good parts onto the internet, where they belong.
While stressing that no definitive decision has been made, Cooper suggested that the online edits of the series might differ from the broadcast version in terms of how racy they might get. “We have more leeway with online content,” he noted, while also suggesting that the distinctions between the two versions would be subtle. (Meanwhile, somewhere in L.A., an actor grumbles quietly about his exposed distinction being referred to as “subtle.”) “It’s not like in the online version we’re going to be showing scenes with people’s heads being hacked off,” Cooper stressed, instead suggesting that certain scenes would be differently cut depending on the venue. “In the broadcast version, we kind of have to cut around [the aforementioned sex scene] and do it in pieces, but in the online version, I think we can show it as we originally intended. Certainly not added scenes, just different edits.” Of Kings And Prophets will premiere on Tuesday, March 8 on ABC.