More than 10 million viewers tune in each week to mega-Pastor Joel Osteen's television broadcast. And now, even more people may watching the faith leader, as a primetime television series is in the works.
On Tuesday, TMZ reported that Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston Texas, will be teaming up with "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett for a prime-time network television show in 2012. According to the Houston Chronicle, a spokesperson for the church has confirmed that a program is currently in development.
Burnett told TMZ that the show will center upon ordinary people giving up several days or longer to go on a "mission" with the faith leader. While this may conjure images of Osteen and company traveling abroad to partake in missionary activities, the trips will apparently be confined to the United States.
According to Don Iloff, a spokesperson for Lakewood and the pastor's brother-in-law, "just about every studio in Hollywood" has pitched ideas to the Osteens, but, to date, they have declined. But Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, have apparently become friends with the Osteen family.
Joel and his wife Victoria have been to the producer's home and vice-versa. And the Burnetts, who are also Christians, have also visited Lakewood. As a result, the family likely trusts the famed producer to portray Osteen and his ministry in a palatable light.
At the moment the show has no name and has no official network secured, as it is in its early-planning states. The Osteens, as the Chronicle reports, are hoping that they will be able to create "uplifting, positive programming" that will be family-friendly.
Considering Burnett's credentials and Osteen's popularity, there should be little issue finding a home for the show.
(H/T: Urban Christian Church)