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Second Coming

Brian Dixon! It's time for another MM story!

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It's been a long time since you've told us some tidbit or story from you vast Millennium knowledge. How about it? Everyone gather around the campfire and grab your marshmallows and marshmallow sticks.

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Guest Selfosophy Psycho
Hear, hear!  Come on, Dix... "give it up"... been a while since we heard one of your MLM anecdotes!  "DIXON - DIXON - DIXON..." :yes_big:

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:yes_big:  :thumbsup_big: Yeah, Dixon!  Hell, your writing is what brought me here in the first place!

:devil01: RavenWolf

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Wow.  Thanks so much for all of the encouragement!  

I must apologize for my disappearance from the forum recently.  I haven't posted in at least a month.  Not only have I moved recently but there's also been a dramatic increase in my commitments at work.  In any case, I'm back and prepared to make up for it.  I'll post one tale now and I'll post another one shortly.

Stop me if you've heard this one from me before.

People often write to ask me why it is that Millennium's production numbers do not always coincide with the order of the episode airdates.  Perhaps the most interesting story relating to the various situations that sometimes made these airdate shufflings necessary relates to the first season episode "Kingdom Come."

A day or two before "Kingdom Come" was set to air, in November of 1996, one of the nation's more prominent Catholic Church bishops passed away.  (Forgive me, I can't recall the man's name or the area which he served.)  The obituary made national news.  The Fox network took notice and moved quickly.  They went out of their way to formally announce that they were delaying the airing of Millennium's fourth episode, "Kingdom Come," because of the death.  We all know that "Kingdom Come" disposes of a number of Catholic priests in horrifically imaginative fashions and Fox announced that they, supposedly, felt the episode could be considered in poor taste at such a time.  Thus, on Friday, November 15th, newspapers across the country were running stories in their entertainment sections regarding the supposedly awkward situation that Millennium's choice in subject matter had gotten the series into.

The graphic violence and sensitive subjects seen on Millennium were already a media hot topic, something that critics and commentators were quick to bring up in any discussion of the series.  In fact, early discussions of the series surrounding its premiere seemed overly focused on this single aspect of the show's approach.  The admission that "Kingdom Come's" brutal priest slayings might have been disturbing for some viewers simply continued the media preoccupation with Millennium's strong approach.  Few were concerned with the episode's thematic content.  Clearly, however, the episode had no real direct connections to the deceased bishop or any other current event.  This was, after all, a fictional story presented on a dramatic television series that typically dealt with such subjects.

The Fox network has never been known for their sensitivity or reverence.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  While many newspaper articles were plainly presenting Fox's story, that the episode's airing was delayed out of respect for Catholic Church officials, it seemed an uncharacteristic move for the network.  It was fairly clear that there were ulterior motives at work.  While Millennium's premiere three weeks earlier had been the highest rated premiere in Fox television history, a dramatic decline in subsequent ratings was already evident.  Fox could see that it was quite possible Millennium would not continue to deliver impressive numbers in its Friday night timeslot.

Thus, when the opportunity presented itself, the Fox network pounced in an effort to capitalize on the controversy that had undoubtedly only served to contribute to the show's early success.  The real reason that "Kingdom Come" had been postponed, and in a fashion so clearly designed to draw attention to the decision, was to fuel the controversy surrounding the series and its subjects.  "The Judge" aired on November 15th in its stead, and undoubtedly a good number of viewers across America were more aware that it was showing because of the press.  "Kindgom Come" aired two weeks later, and by that time the minor commotion had died down and seemingly no one but the fans took notice.

This interesting situation reveals some of the Fox network's crafty early efforts to promote the series and ensure that it remained in the media spotlight and public attention.  Unfortunately, Fox lost interest in continuing such dedicated efforts just weeks later, just as the media lost interest in examining the way in which Millennium's themes connected to the real world.

And that is the complex reason why "Kingdom Come" aired out of order.

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