Of Kings and Prophets Series Premiere

ABC's Of Kings and Prophets: Is It a Failure of Biblical Proportions?

Much like its protagonist, the ill-fated King Saul, ABC’s biblical drama Of Kings and Prophets has had the odds stacked against it.

Originally slated to premiere last fall in the Sundays-at-10 time slot (now held by Quantico), Prophets was reserved for a later — much later — debut after hitting some creative speed bumps and recasting a number of roles.

And, though we hate to kick a new show when it’s down, initial critical buzz for the self-described “epic saga” — now laying claim to ABC’s “death slot” — has been largely unkind. (Curse you, easy Game of Thrones comparisons!) So, if you went into Tuesday’s premiere feeling a bit skeptical, we wouldn’t blame you.

Of Kings and ProphetsIf you’re at all familiar with the Old Testament’s two Books of Samuel, you already know how Prophets‘ story ends, but we’ll give you the rundown anyway. The story focuses primarily on three men: Saul, who aims to unite the tribes of Israel; the prophet Samuel, who warns Saul that God does not want him to remain king; and David, a shepherd who is destined — spoiler alert! — to take Saul’s place as ruler.

Somewhere in between the steamy sex scenes and hushed conversations in the halls of Saul’s castle, the catastrophic events surrounding Saul’s reign are set in motion. When Saul goes to Samuel, asking for God’s blessing of his daughter’s impending marriage, Samuel delivers the message that Saul and his men must kill all of the Amalekites before the union will be blessed. And though he does kill most of the Amalekites in battle, Saul spares their king with plans to torture him — which goes against God’s wishes that the entire population be offed.

At the end of the hour, Samuel takes matters into his own hands and slays the Amalekite leader, urging Saul to fear the Lord’s plans for him — and, of course, Saul does not. But given David’s good reputation in the kingdom (for slaying a lion that was murdering his family’s sheep) and the presence of a handmaiden in Saul’s castle who is secretly spying on him for a rival house, it seems the king’s luck is about to drastically change.

Let’s put it this way: If the newly released Game of Thrones trailer won’t tide you over until the HBO drama’s return, Of Kings and Prophets would make a decent substitute, if only it didn’t take itself so seriously.

That’s our take, but what did you think of Kings and Prophets‘ debut? Grade the series premiere in our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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79 Comments
  1. Suso says:

    It’s not raunchy enough for “Game of Thrones” fans and not biblical enough for Christians. So who exactly is this show for?

    Oh, also it’s not good.

    • PatriciaLee says:

      I’m not a Bible person, but the husband is. He looks for a warm fuzzy, puttering along with familiar Bible themes and scenes with/about/for the Big G, not whacking and sexing. He liked the other Bible series that Roma Downey produced. He’s not even going to give this one a try, after I’ve read what it is about…just in case some suits skim over these comments for feedback.

      • JScout says:

        PatriciaLee, do you only speak for ‘the husband’. Do you ever speak for yourself?

        • PatriciaLee says:

          All the time…LOL…and thank you for reading my post!

          • PatriciaLee says:

            Oops…all the time I’m sharing MY opinions and thoughts, too, but sometimes in different posts to minimize confusion, overthinking things being the curse of the writer.

    • Cory says:

      Well that’s a broad generalization. I love Game of Thrones but I also watch broadcast, including The CW, and sometimes some kids shows for good measure. I plan on watching this later because Christian mythology is interesting so I will give it a chance whether or not it’s raunchy…

    • Helen says:

      This show was so bad that I feel asleep about 15 minutes into the show. I will definitely not be watching the 2nd episode.

  2. MissEllys says:

    King Saul is all wrong; he should be like the king in Maleficent.

  3. “ABC’s Of Kings and Prophets: Is It a Failure of Biblical Proportions?”

    the fact that it’s described as a sexy violent biblical story
    is enough for me to answer that with a resounding YES

    • rowan77 says:

      Have you read the Bible? It’s full of violence and sex. This show was bad, tho.

      • PatriciaLee says:

        But the genius of the Bible’s writing technique is that this stuff is not in your face, which proves the existence of the Big G, imho. The most popular book, ever, without being in your face. The stuff is sprinkled around as hooks, only. Only The Greatest Writer Ever could have written it. A writer has to give credit, where credit is due. Since the show ended up being so in your face, HBO didn’t have faith in the plotting…Haha

        • Um, the Bible is very “in your face.”

        • Marty says:

          the bible is not “in your face” with its detailed descriptions of gory, bloody battles and vividly described sexual mechanics!!?? I sometimes wonder if American Christians are reading the same bible as the rest of the world? Im not a religious person, but I love the old testament as literature.

        • rowan77 says:

          No offense to bible thumpers, but it is an over-written, self-contradictory bunch of stories written and edited by men in order to explain things they couldn’t (Genesis), tell cautionary tales (Everything else) and keep control over the population (The 10 Commandments). If people plotted TV shows based on how the bible is plotted, the message boards would be lambasting every show for conflicting stories that don’t work, rampant sexism, and racism. The stories are parables, not to be taken literally. It doesn’t prove the existence of God, as much as you’d like it to. And faith isn’t about proof of his/her existence. Faith is a belief, not a knowledge. Faith isn’t scientific, it’s personal and means you have to suspend all knowledge of physics and science. And if you do, that’s fine, but lets not pretend there is historical proof of these stories being accurate and true. In 2000 years there has been no historical proof that Moses or Jesus existed. And if you “believe” you shouldn’t need proof.

    • PatriciaLee says:

      When I read the article’s info about the series to him, the husband said, “That’s not the Bible I read.” I guess they needed someone like Roma Downey to produce their vision, so the ones who like reading the book would watch. just saying, if the ratings are down and if they are not just looking for a tax write-off, they blew it. Maybe, she could save the un-aired episodes with a little editing and a little more shooting and tweaking.

      • Marty says:

        Sounds like your husband is being extremely selective in his bible studies. Believers can’t have their cake and eat it too. Your husbands wilfull ignorance of his own scripture makes me suspect either his faith is shaky or maybe just a public affectation. Attitudes like that are the main cause of my aversion to Christianity.

        • Patricia Lee says:

          Hey, we’re just talking fun TV watching, here, not philosophy! Whatever makes for increased viewership to keep the making TV show art alive is the name of the game.

  4. This Show makes me miss NBC’s Kings with Ian McShane, Sebastian Stan, and Christopher Egan. I’ll have to get out my Kings DVD’s and do a Binge watch later.

  5. David4 says:

    ABC has Once Upon a Time, do they really need another show about a fairytale book?

    • Suso says:

      Oh look, a half-witted attempt at pissing off a bunch of good people and starting a fight. How droll.

      • Simon Jester says:

        Believing the Bible doesn’t make you a good person. There are no shortage of people who read it without apparently absorbing any of its teachings.

    • Just Your Friendly Agnostic says:

      You do realize that a lot of the Bible is actually based on historical events? Yes, a lot of it isn’t completely accurate because stories back then were spoken and told orally generation after generation, and only when writing and education became available were these stories able to be written down. Did Jonah really get eaten by a whale and survive? Probably not. But was there a historical man named Jonah and did he probably do some fishing? Sure. Just because the stories have been embellished doesn’t mean there isn’t a seed of truth in there…and I’m saying this as someone who’s closer on the agnostic/atheist side.

    • D says:

      David you’re as close minded and bigoted as people that use the Bible as an excuse to hate, you might think you’re above such people but you’re really no better than any racist, bigoted homophobe you just target your hate at people of faith.

  6. Phoenix5634 says:

    Haha funny how this article made the game of thrones comparisons as well. It’s like watching a cheaper( all the props, actors and writing), bible themed version, with no real entertainment to it. I have to admit I changed the channel after like 20 mins.

  7. PriceIsRightCancelled says:

    Of Kings and Prophets is The Bible meets Game of Thrones.

    • Phoenix5634 says:

      Haha yeah pretty much. Except game of thrones is an easy A+, and this show is like a generous D lol. In my opinion anyway.

  8. doug hedin says:

    NOT BIBLICAL ENOUGH..DUE TO THE ACTING..CASTING OF PEOPLE NOT RIGHT..FAILURE VS SUCCESS
    LIKE THE PASSION OF CHRIST

  9. N says:

    Bring back #Forever!

  10. Bigdede says:

    I knew this show was going to be bad from the casting! Saul is super taller and David is described as beautiful in appearance and ruddy. Which the actor playing David is neither. Also Saul was not planning on torturing that king but leting him go.

  11. cuius says:

    Thought the sequel – “Better Call Saul” – was better

  12. “which goes against God’s wishes that the entire population be offed.” because thou shalt not kill only applies to the members of the tribe, lol. So absurd.

  13. Horrible muck. But what can you expect when the source material is a bedtime story.

  14. Dan says:

    Mostly I found it to be poorly lighted and hard to watch.
    I was bored and waiting for Episode #1 to be over , not much chance of me watching Epi #2

  15. readenreply says:

    shoulda just ripped off the Bible and set it space

  16. Lyn says:

    It’s amazing to me that with all of the intelligent people in the world they can’t reach the conclusion that religion is responsible for most of the world conflict. Always has been, and apparently will continue to be in the foreseeable future. Read Gulliver’s Travels. Big Enders, Little Enders = Muslims/Jews. Yahoos the lot of them.

    • KCC says:

      The biggest wars of the last 150 years, at least that the US was involved in: US Civil War, WWI and WWII, were not religious conflicts. Neither were any of the Cold War conflicts (Korea, Vietnam, etc.) Having religious beliefs gives some people justification for their violence, but I’m afraid even without religion, people find other reasons to try and control and/or force their values on other people. I’m an atheist, but I can’t say religion is the reason for most world conflict. It’s more the “haves” vs the “have nots.”
      Getting back on topic, Of Kings and Prophets was pretty bad TV.

    • D says:

      another close minded bigoted comment from someone with out thought and understanding, do you even know history? i assume you consider yourself one of the so called “intelligent” people and yet you post a bigoted narrow minded comment. please check your prejudice.

  17. Concerned says:

    Just because a show was terrible does not mean that people should attack what it is based upon or the religion itself. Some of these comments are incredibly rude and offensive. I’m not claiming that all “Christians” are good people, there are some who claim to be something they are clearly not, but attacking Christianity is uncalled for. Our society claims to be so tolerant and accepting of everyone but do not extend that same courtesy to Christians. Maybe let’s think about how our words and actions can hurt others before posting something online.

    • Derision says:

      … or we can give the offended people a box of Pampers to help them along? Opinions aren’t a bad thing

  18. tahina says:

    I’m going to watch until David kills the giant Goliath. Then sign it off for good.

  19. sunshine says:

    Lots of us don’t have HBO so this won’t have to be compared.

  20. Lucille says:

    We need more shows like this!!

  21. Helen says:

    This show was so bad that I feel asleep after watching about 15 minutes. Definitely not gonna watch the 2nd episode.

  22. Elaine says:

    Hey….Jews watch Old Testament dramas too….not bad following the story. But why do the
    Ancient Israelites sound like they just came off the streets of London?

  23. D. says:

    Really bad. Everything is wrong: like ancient peoples of Israel did not have BOOTS with soles. The story line is convoluted and doesn’t follow the account in the Bible correctly. Please read 1 Samuel chapter 9 and following you will see what I mean. You will be amazed at the blatant maleficence that is being portrayed. For example: Goliath is a munchkin compared to the Philistine warrior described in the Bible. I bet Tom Cruise could defeat him. They only put this together so they could make a prime time soap opera of sorts. They have mixed various story plots with 20th century culture to come up with a decadent portrayal of famous people from the bible. Its ridiculous. Changing an already intriguing story doesn’t make it better. They have actually created a tragedy (pun intended). 90 percent of everything happening on the show didn’t happen and the things they reference from scripture is 50% incorrect. Pack it in and pull it. I won’t watch it and I am telling everyone else to avoid it as well. It

  24. Donna Gorman says:

    I can’t get past the fact that all those Israelite’s had British accents how pretentious of the casting, just my opinion…..in this day and age there are enough actors in the middle east that speak English with their native tongue accents.

    • PatriciaLee says:

      Well, the English accent would be kind of generic for aristocratic types in the video arts. Don’t forget that all the local accents, also, have their representations and subtleties, with possible unknown and unintended insults and being offended as possibilities. I get why they didn’t even go there.

  25. Tracey says:

    Great show

  26. ELIZABETH says:

    I WAS SO PLEASED TO SEE ABC FINALLY DO A FAITH-BASED SERIES THAT WAS FACTUAL with just a”little creative license”. YOU DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB AND PORTRAYAL OF THE CHARACTERS! I therefore am now very disappointed that this show has been CANCELLED! IT WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SHOWS. I HAD IT UP THERE (COMPARATIVELY Speaking) with HTG Away with Murder, SCANDAL, etc.

    YES IT WAS GRAPHIC – BUT THE BIBLE IS GRAPHIC AND DESERVES TO BE PORTRAYED AS IT IS WRITTEN! It’s apparent that some GROUPS COULD NOT ACCEPT THE DIVERSITY of the Characters. DID THEY EVER READ THE BIBLE?? It’s right there! I APPLAUD YOU FOR AN OUTSTANDING CAST, PROUCTION and DEPICTION of Kings Saul and David and Prophet Samuel! King David WAS A WARRIOR, PSALMIST, POET, MUSICIAN, LOVER, COMPASIONATE PERSON and Brave Beyond WORDS! THAT’S WHY GOD CHOSE HIM. GOD IS NOT IN A BOX and NEITHER WAS KING DAVID, SAUL or The Prophets! 💗💏😇📖! AMEN

    PLEASE BRING IT BACK!

  27. True believer! says:

    You know this is why the world is going through all the disaster and changes now taken God out of everything this was an opportunity for people who don’t know or have ever take an interest in the Bible and to know God. So if you are ashamed of the Lord I’m say shame on you ABC and will not be interested in any showings you have to offer that show could have put faith and saved many people i know many people were given you high fives for airing it . it was an amazing to episodes bye ABC thanks for the big disappointment!

  28. ELIZABETH says:

    PS: IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO PUT IT BACK ON TV – WHERE I BELIEVE IT BELONGS; then please I implore you to PUT IT ON “THE SILVER SCREEN🎥” as a 🎦🎬 MOVIE! THANKS! 😃😎😇👓🍟🍔🍕🍨❗💯☑😄

  29. Walker says:

    As a christian I Enjoy watching the movie coming to life. It was also a great learning tool for my Sunday school class. It was good to see ABC try what NBC did with AD Bible.

  30. Gloria Jones says:

    Dissapointed that Kings and Prophets series is cancelled . I know that the two shows that I saw was biblically correct. Unfortunately , it is always a few that rates what is acceptable for tv viewing ! I hope this series comes to another station.

  31. kathy mitchell says:

    Where can I watch the rest of the Kings & Prophet’s??? ABC Sucks, King David was going to kill Goliah tonite with his slingshot, ABC sucks, BRING KINGS & PROPHET’S BACK!!!!!!!

  32. kelly says:

    I am so disappointed with the cancellation of the show!! After watching the first night i was so impressed i told others how good it was. They watched the next wk. And loved it also. None of us had seen any promotions prior to it being aired. I hope that someone will continue to show the series. I am so sick of the brain numbing “reality” shows that are anything but real. I wonder if people didn’t like it because they are ashamed of religious topics? As far as being too violent, it wasnt half as violent as the cartoons on Saturday morning,or the games everyone buys their kids. I don’t know why the people who think it was too explicit for children think its ok for their children to be watching tv at that time anyway. Just a excuse.

  33. A-A-Ron says:

    I can honestly say I haven’t felt this bad about a show being cancelled since ABC’s Forever. Granted, that wasn’t too long ago, but that’s not relevant. Of Kings and Prophets provided a great view of the relationship between Yahweh (Another name for God) and the twelve tribes of Israel. I am thoroughly disappointed this show didn’t make it and I honestly am scared to put my trust in any more biblical shows for fear of them getting cancelled.

  34. Vicki Tapscott says:

    This show is awesome. Please find a way to let us see not just episode3 but also have it carry on. We who read God’s word know how it ends but we still like to watch TV especially shows like this. I would love to purchase this series. PLEASe.

  35. Jinny says:

    I loved it! I won’t watch filth on tv….I won’t watch nothing on ABC any more….when it comes to the Bible or Jesus people wants to kick it to the crub….I am sick of that

  36. Mari Owens says:

    So disappointed that they stop airing the show!! They need to bring it back or another tv station needs to! It was so interesting and such a good show be cast on tv it’s been awhile since a good show like this was on! So disappointed

  37. Martha Hunt says:

    Love that series, why don’t u put on DVD and let people buy it who enjoy it.

  38. Tamara says:

    I absolutely loved the two episodes. I am upset it cancelled. It’s a very needed show and was getting to the real good part of the story! I hope another channel will pick the series up!!!!

  39. Christopher says:

    I really believe that it was a good somewhat educational story about Davids Calling. I feel as though it shouldn’t have been cancelled especially when it hasn’t had time to even begin to mature. The show definitely would have opened another door for more Biblical shows. As long as you stay true to the facts in the Bible you would have gained fellow christians who love the stories of the bible and who want to learn. Once the word got out then it is safe to say that the population of believers is highly numbered. Besides not just believers but people interested in war stories too. Anyway you should have went with it then gave it time to grow because I enjoyed visually an idea of seeing how it looked like instead of just reading.

  40. Christopher says:

    I will say that it was a bit on the sexual side and some christians dont like that which it was for me to. But I look at everything as a whole if you believe people never had sex back then how did they have children. Yes it is true that it is written in the bible that you shouldnt have sex before marriage and even then it is for reproduction. The thing is though they done the same thing then as they do now and no matter what Gods word never changes so it being a sin then it is still one now. Get over it because if you really cared you would change your life style all together.

  41. Rafael Cintron says:

    I am really upset to say the least when this happens WHY STOP THIS GREAT BIBLICAL SERIES but yet other idiotic and no meaning shows like the Kardasians , Duck dinasty

  42. Olymphia Hutchinson says:

    I love it

  43. This show was amazing… shame they killed it early :{

  44. tsevca says:

    My question for those who´ve seen it: Does the whole show look as cheaply made as it looks in trailer?