NBC has canceled “Rise” after critics accused the show of being anti-Christian and going out of its way to squeeze in liberal talking points.
The Media Research Center, which has tracked the “extremely liberal high school drama” for bias against Christians, posted an article celebrating its demise. "Rise," which starred Rosie Perez and Josh Radnor, was about a drama teacher who polarizes the town with his passion for musicals – specifically the provocative “Spring Awakening.”
“We should cry because it happened, and smile now that it is finally over,” MRC’s Dawn Slusher wrote. “Unlike the show’s title Rise, every episode in this debut season continued to sink to new lows, so we can also smile over the news that the curtain has been lowered for good on the series.”
Slusher once wrote, “If you could take every liberal, Hollywood writer’s agenda and cram it all into one show, that show would be ‘Rise.’”
NBC did not immediately respond when asked if the backlash to storylines perceived by critics as anti-Christian played a role in why “Rise” will not return for a second season.
The now-canceled show featured episodes about a teacher encouraging a male student to act in a kissing scene with another male despite expressing that his Catholic parents wouldn’t approve, a priest featuring what Slusher called “stereotypical gay mannerisms,” a pregnant minor contemplating abortion, a transgender teen and an assortment of other topics that critics feel paint Catholics as homophobes.
Times’ TV critic James Poniewozik noted that it was “a little rich for NBC to air a show about a town being too provincial for ‘Spring Awakening,’ a show that it’s hard to imagine the network mounting uncensored for its December musical.”
“Rise” was also criticized for an episode that accused Catholics of hiding in shadows when it comes to issues such as homosexuality that aired a few days prior to Good Friday and Easter.
Deadline TV editor Nellie Andreeva wrote that the show had “high hopes” and the potential to be a companion to NBC’s hit drama “This Is Us,” but simply didn’t take off from a ratings standpoint.
Slusher said of the series finale, “I, for one, have a big smile on my face knowing this liberal garbage is over for good, never to ‘rise’ again.”