Networks are more interested than ever in original content, regardless of what that content may be, and it’s created a completely different TV landscape than the one that existed even five years ago. For instance, Lifetime has slowly transitioned from tawdry “violence against women” entertainment to tawdry “women empowerment” entertainment (still with sporadic violence against women). And the upcoming original series The Sisterhood will go where neither Lifetime nor TV audiences have ever gone before: inside a convent.
The Sisterhood will follow five Catholic women as they try to decide whether or not they want to change their lives forever by becoming nuns, an interesting concept that adds purpose to more casual unscripted material. It also seems to be a show where the point is literally making people try to figure out how faithful they can allow themselves to be, so while this direct subject matter doesn’t appeal to someone like me, I can appreciate the approach.
For six episodes, viewers will watch the women living and working together inside a Catholic convent, where TV cameras haven’t been allowed before, according to THR. And while servitude of God is a large part of each woman’s choice, the show will also get into what the women would be leaving behind by joining the titular sisterhood: lovers, friends, simple luxuries, and more. Once conversations turn to taking other people’s stuff away, emotions are bound to get overheated. I’m not sure if petty drama would spice up a show like this or cheapen it.
I’m predicting even non-religious audiences can recognize the draw to tuning in. If The Sisterhood is a success, that means studio execs will start looking for a way to bring more nun-related programming to TV. And there's only one logical conclusion to that.
The Sisterhood is the brainchild of Hot Snakes Media, producers of shows like TLC’s Breaking Amish and Breaking the Faith. They’re currently in the process of choosing a convent and location for the series to take place in, so it’s unclear when Lifetime is looking to air The Sisterhood. Perhaps they will eventually pair it up with the recent hit Preachers’ Daughters, or with the polar opposite reality competition Relative Insanity, in which families are cooped up in a room together doing awful things to try and win money.
Witchy and demonic fiction are all the rage, but 2014 has already been a religious media bonanza, with films like Son of God and Heaven is for Real raising Hollywood’s faith and Duck Dynasty standing out as a small-screen beacon for God-fearing viewers. Time will tell if The Sisterhood will give audiences a reason to believe or not.