God Friended Me: Showrunners Bryan Wynbrandt and Steven Lilien On Addressing A Higher Power For the Show | TCA 2018

Contrary to the show’s title, God Friended Me is not quite the faith-based show everyone will be expecting.

At the Television Critics Association summer presentation earlier this week, showrunners Bryan Wynbrandt and Steven Lilien were on hand to answer press questions about the upcoming new drama on CBS. Wynbrandt and Lilien had been producers on several television shows, including Gotham, Hawaii Five-0 and Alcatraz.

God Friended Me follows an atheist who received a friend request on Facebook from God. God leads him with a bread crumb trailing helping others while he and his friends are seeking answers on the real identification behind the Facebook account.

The show stars Brandon Michael Hall, Violett Beane, Suraj Sharma, Javicia Leslie and Joe Morton.

God Friended Me will be premiere on CBS on Sunday, September 30.

One of the showrunners, Bryan Wynbrandt, came up with the idea when he received a push notification from Facebook

Wynbrandt said, “You can’t predict where inspiration is going to come from and a few years ago, I was driving over to Steven’s [Lilien] house. I got a push notification on my phone for a friend suggestion from an old friend. And a thought occurred to me in that moment, ‘What if someone claiming to be God sent me a friend request on Facebook?’”

That was the genesis of the idea for God Friended Me.

The showrunners did say that it’s not going to be previous shows like Touched By An Angel, because there is nothing spiritual or supernatural about God Friended Me.

“Our characters, they’re not angels. They’re not heavenly. They’re just real people,” said Steven Lilien, another showrunner for the series. “I think the opposing force that you’re talking about is the conflict with themselves. How do they feel about it? How does Miles feel about feeling manipulated or feel that someone’s controlling him in a way? I think that’s where the conflict comes. Whether you want to put yourself out there and what are the consequences for your personal life and professional [life] whent those things collide?”

That being said, the characters are very diverse and of different religious backgrounds.

“When we say, ‘God,’ it’s the general. We’re not focusing on one religious figure or portrayal,” addressed Wynbrandt. “In the cast, Violett’s [Beane] character is Jewish. Miles is an atheist. Suraj [Sharma] character is Hindu. And obviously, Arthur and Ali are practicing Episcopalians. So everybody is sort of spoken to.”

Wynbrandt continued, “Even in the friends that we’ll bring into the show, where they’re coming from, will, obviously, help us even build the world out more and more as well.”

God Friended Me will be premiere on CBS on Sunday, September 30.

Source: LRM Online

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Gig Patta

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.

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