There is a TV show that puts the spotlight on doing good in this world. The freshman hit “God Friended Me” on CBS is cut from the same cloth as “Highway To Heaven,” “Touched by An Angel,” and even “Quantum Leap,” along with other uplifting series that have come before. But, of course, in the age of millennials this feel-good venture has to have a social media element attached to the storytelling.
God Friended Me is actually a humorous drama about an outspoken young podcast host Miles Finer (Brandon Micheal Hall), who receives a Facebook friend request from “God.” Although he claims a lack of faith, Miles learns to embrace the suggestions from the “God Account,” and become an agent of change in the lives of people who are in need. Miles alters destinies with the help of his friends—online journalist Cara Bloom (Violett Beane), hacker Rakesh (Suraj Sharma), sister Ali (Javicia Leslie) and father Reverend Arthur Finer (Joe Morton). They also pursue the elusive mystery of who is behind the enigmatic “God Account.” Heaven help them.
‘It’s beautiful that with every episode, someone is being touched.’— Brandon Micheal Hall
During the recent Television Critics Association’s 2019 winter press tour, CBS announced that God Friended Me has been picked up for a second season. The network presented an interview panel at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena on January 30 with stars Brandon Micheal Hall and Violett Beane, along with creators and executive producers Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt.
They talked about how the drama keeps the struggle of being human beings at the heart of its stories. That allows people from all different backgrounds to enjoy the show together. Wynbrandt said, “The key is the humanity in it. We are all human beings. Whether you are a nonbeliever or a believer, I think the true north of goodness in people is wanting to help one another. So I think people can relate to that.”
Brandon Micheal Hall, whose mother was a minister, said putting himself in Miles’ shoes has helped him look at life differently. It has made him more understanding when it comes to others’ beliefs. He explained, “Growing up around the church and growing in The Word…that was my foundation. So to take on a role now where that was being tested, where you have to see the world in a completely different light—absolutely, my views have changed. Not to say that I don’t believe, but I am in a spiritual place where I’m able to have a conversation with more people about spirituality. I’m not seeing it from a closed minded point of view. I’m actually taking the time to see what other people believe and how that’s gotten them to their place.”
Star of The Mayor sitcom last season, Hall insisted, “In the words of ‘God Friended Me,’ I think it is very much divine intervention. How it’s helped me is manifested right here on the stage working with this company. I couldn’t have proclaimed this years ago, the little golden moments in my life, the stones that are getting me closer and closer to wherever I’m supposed to be.”
A graduate of Juilliard, Hall is 26-years-old and grateful for the success he’s has over the last year-and-a-half, and described it as “a whirlwind of just amazing things that have puzzled itself together. I’m in a very happy place right now.”
Showrunner Lilien noted, “Our feedback on social media has been incredibly positive. Being on Sunday nights I think really impacts us. This is a show that allows families to sit down and for an hour just escape to something that puts something positive and good out into the world, and ends with a smile or a cry.”
Hall said, “It’s beautiful that with every episode, someone is being touched. It was great that Touched by An Angel ran nine seasons and we’re hoping that kind of success rubs off on this show.”
God Friended Me airs Sunday nights at 8pm on CBS and CBS All Access. Tune in.
Margie Barron is a member of the Television Critics Association and has written for a variety of top publications for more than 38 years, and was half of the husband and wife writing team of Margie and Frank Barron.