Dolly Parton ‘Very Proud’ of Winning Christopher Award

Dolly-Parton-Coat-of-Many-Colors-NBCBack on Dec. 10, NBC aired “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors,” a TV-movie based on an episode from Parton’s childhood that inspired the hit song of the same name. It did well, to say the least.

From a piece I did for my Pax Culturati blog at Patheos:

The family- and faith-friendly film scored 13M viewers on Dec. 10. Then DVR ratings over the next three days added an additional 2.5M viewers. And more importantly, the numbers in the key 18-49 demo went from 1.8 to 2.3 (meaning a lot of those advertiser-approved folks DVRed the show instead of watching it live).

As no less than Rolling Stone noted:

The huge haul by the NBC production makes it the most-watched film on the major broadcast networks — NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX — in nearly four years.

Now the film has garnered a new honor, a Christopher Award. Created in 1949, the Christophers celebrate writers, producers, directors, authors and illustrators whose work “affirms the highest values of the human spirit.”

Today, the Christophers announced the full slate of honorees — 21 movies, TV & Cable programs, and books for adults and young people — for the 67th annual Christopher Awards, to be presented in New York City on May 19, 2016.

Said Tony Rossi, the Christophers’ Director of Communications:

The world around us can seem like a dark place in light of all the violence and hatred we hear about in the news. But the stories we honor with Christopher Awards remind us that we can shine a light that illuminates the darkness by choosing to practice faith, love, compassion, courage, teamwork, and determination.

Parton, an executive producer for “Coat of Many Colors,” which won in the TV & Cable category, said:

I love the Christopher Award slogan, ‘Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.’ I personally believe that with all my heart. I think the movie, ‘Coat of Many Colors,’ a true story from my childhood, does throw a light on a lot of things like family, hope, love, kindness, understanding, and acceptance. It really spoke to the issue of bullying. I am very proud at how God works through me to shine a light, and to help heal a lot of hurt in a lot of people, and I am very proud of this award.

If you missed the movie the first time around, or when it re-aired on Christmas Day, it’s coming to DVD on May 3. Click here and here for two of the places it can be pre-ordered.

One of the other winners in the same category was an episode of TV Land’s “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” starring Catholic comic, husband and father Gaffigan in a fictionalized version of his life. It’s called “My Friend the Priest,” and it’s based on something that happened with Gaffigan and a priest he knows in real life.

I discussed it at length with Gaffigan, for another piece at Pax Culturati, called “Jim Gaffigan and the Priest: A Love Story.” Here’s an excerpt:

Real-life Jim may not have a priest from Zimbabwe, but he has a clerical story to tell.

Said Jim, “One of the episodes we’re shooting right now is inspired from real life. Jim invites the priest to come with him to his first appearance on ‘The Tonight Show.’ This is inspired by the fact that I brought my priest, who was probably a 5-foot-tall guy from Southern India, to Letterman.

“When we got there, he was like, ‘I’d like to meet Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.’ I’m like, ‘No, we don’t talk to the other guests. We sit in our room, and we wait for them.’ And he was like, ‘I’m just going to say hello.’ That inspired me. All the stories in the show are really — Jeannie and I have been writing forever — but they’re little, interesting examples of stuff that happened to us, because we don’t watch tons of sitcoms or comedies. In fact, we don’t watch any.

“It’s all these stories that are very personal to us, and they mean something.”

Among the other winners are the feature films “Creed,” “The Martian” (which has a brief, but lovely, nod to faith in it) and “Room.”

Click here to see the full list of Christopher Award winners and brief explanations of why they were chosen.

Image: Courtesy NBC

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.