What are Harry Connick Jr.’s three wishes? “I want to do God’s will, I want to do God’s will, I want to do God’s will,” he reveals to Matthew Faraci during an exclusive interview on Dove Channel, a family-friendly streaming service. When the host—also a Hollywood producer—asks Connick, “How can people of faith do a better job of being a unifying force?” On Dove Channel’s ‘Frankly Faraci’ Season 2, Harry Connick, Jr says, “God has a plan…We are a part of that plan… ”
In the second season of the surprising hit show Frankly Faraci, celebrities open up about faith and family in a way we’ve never seen in the history of entertainment. The unprecedented conversations are authentic and fun, giving the viewer a first-person type of experience not unlike the hit CNN series Parts Unknown.
Singer/Actor/TV Host Harry Connick Jr., comedic icon Cedric the Entertainer, TV talk show host Steve Harvey, Atticus Shaffer from ABC’s hit show The Middle, actress Candace Cameron Bure of Fuller House, Apple Store and Genius Bar Creator Ron Johnson, St. Louis Cardinals ace pitcher Adam Wainwright, and veteran actor Corbin Bernsen, each reveal how their careers are inspired by their faith.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring Dove Channel viewers Season Two of Frankly Faraci,” said Erick Opeka, EVP of Cinedigm Networks told us. “Matthew Faraci’s thought-provoking, relatable and humorous approach to the interview has had an overwhelmingly positive reception from both fans and talent alike. With this show, Faraci has artfully delivered what audiences have long been seeking in values-based entertainment.”
Sonoma Christian Home sat down for an insightful interview with Matthew Faraci, producer, TV host, and marketer on the series. SCH Editor at Large Dr. Diane Howard reports.
SCH: How do you define family-friendly?
MF: Family-friendly represents content for all ages, something the whole family can watch and enjoy together.
SCH: What does values-based entertainment mean to you?
MF: Every parent wants entertainment that reinforces important moral lessons and good values for their kids. This isn’t about passing time, it’s about getting something out of what they watch.
SCH: Why is this kind of entertainment important for our culture and world?
MF: There’s no shortage of negative and inappropriate programming. There is, on the other hand, a serious shortage of programming with good, positive, values-based content.
SCH: In the seismic shifts in Hollywood, what are some of the changes for family-friendly, values-based entertainment?
MF: Technology is changing the entertainment landscape. Today, it’s all about streaming. Nobody under 40 watches TV, which is why we call them cord-cutters. And streaming channels have one metric—gaining subscribers. How do you earn subscribers? Offering specific content people want. 52 million Americans are actively seeking great family content, so obviously there’s a huge opportunity here. That’s why Dove Channel created this series, because savvy folks like Erick Opeka—our executive producer—fundamentally understand what much of Hollywood doesn’t, that 70% of Americans hail from a Christian tradition, and they’d like to see more content that speaks to who they are as people.
SCH: What have you learned about celebrities you have interviewed and the kind of projects they want to do?
MF: Audiences are flocking to faith and family content, and so are these celebrities. Harry Connick Jr.’s TV show is inspirational, he’s working hard every day to bring people together and put a smile on their faces. Cedric the Entertainer’s favorite projects fall into this category, Atticus Shaffer is beloved because his character and his show appeals to folks in The Middle who have so often been ignored, Candace Cameron Bure has spent a lifetime in this genre, and the list goes on. The bottom line, family entertainment makes money, it’s fun, everyone can enjoy it, and celebrities are thrilled to be able to create things they can share with their own kids.
SCH: In a generation plagued with violence and immorality, is the Light from family-friendly entertainment brighter than ever?
MF: I believe with this show we are just getting started, this is the breath of fresh air that the country needs, and that Hollywood needs right now. Rather than steering their clients away from faith and family as so often happens, Hollywood publicists should be running to it, if for nothing else out of job security.
SCH: Can you tell us about some memorable moments from your interviews?
MF: Apple Store Creator Ron Johnson shares how the Apple Store was created on principles grounded in faith, which is why it feels so right when you experience it. Concepts such as the following: caring about others, meeting needs, having personal relationships…he also gives a wonderful answer about the faith of Steve Jobs. Cedric the Entertainer donates huge amounts of his time to charity work, something I had never heard before. Candace Cameron Bure exudes real joy, despite negative attacks. Pitcher Adam Wainwright believes his impact off the field will be greater than his impact on it. Actor Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) has faced tremendous physical challenges due to a medical condition he’s constantly battling, yet his faith—coupled with the incredible support of his amazing mom—gives him the strength to endure and succeed.
SCH: What is your favorite quote from a celebrity guest?
MF: Steve Harvey—“If you’re trying to live your life without God, without faith, and without prayer… you trippin’….you are making this thing way harder than it has to be.”
SCH: What are some of the common character qualities you have seen in your guests?
MF: They have a deep passion for their faith, they are real and down-to-earth, and they have an inherent goodness and joy that touches you.
SCH: What do you want people to take away from watching your show?
MF: If you’re a faithful person, you’ll be inspired and encouraged. And whether you live a faithful life or not, you’ll see what I see—these people are fun, creative, free, and a joy to be around. The stereotype the media often portrays is false. The truth is, Christians are cool.
Frankly Faraci is available exclusively on Dove Channel, and can be viewed across a broad spectrum of connected devices including Roku® Players and Roku TV™ models, Android and iOS, AppleTV, LeEco smart phones and TVs, the web, and other mobile and tablet devices. Additionally, Dove Channel. • For an exclusive clip from the first episode, click here. Videos of Matthew Faraci’s delightful interviews are available on You Tube.•
Visit Dove Channel for more information. Matthew Faraci is President of Inspire Buzz, a production, marketing, and publicity agency creating and promoting family-friendly entertainment to the values audience. Prior to starting his company, Faraci had several successful careers serving as the following: journalist, political strategist, government spokesperson, communications strategist, publicist, entrepreneur, teacher, and even as a standup comedian and writer. He brings all of these experiences to bear as host of Frankly Faraci, an inspiring new talk show highlighting faithful personalities the whole family can celebrate.
To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard