Joel Osteen developing reality show with 'Survivor' producer
Joel Osteen is developing a reality show that will feature members of his Houston, Texas, megachurch.
November 30th, 2011
10:57 AM ET

Joel Osteen developing reality show with 'Survivor' producer

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Joel Osteen, who leads the largest church in the United States and reaches millions of Americans through his televised Sunday sermons, is developing a reality show with the producer of “Survivor,” the televangelist said Tuesday.

Osteen has signed a deal with famed reality TV producer Mark Burnett to develop the show, a spokeswoman for Joel Osteen Ministries said.

"Victoria (Osteen's wife) and I are looking forward to working with Mark Burnett on this project,” Osteen said in a statement Tuesday.

“We have great respect for Mark and we know that the finished product will not only entertain but will illustrate the generosity and selflessness that is a hallmark of the American people," he said.

Osteen said the yet-to-be-named series would not resemble a typical reality show.

“In my mind, when I think of ‘reality’ (show), I think of cameras following you doing nothing,” Osteen said, according to CNN Houston affiliate KHOU. “But this is more ‘Extreme (Makeover: Home Edition).’ We’re going with a purpose - with a mission.”

Osteen said the show would feature members of his Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas - the country’s largest congregation - helping others.

“We would take a group of 300-500 people from this auditorium, from our ministry and go somewhere in the world - probably in the U.S. to start - but just to help a place in need,” Osteen said, according to KHOU. “A place hit by a tornado. Maybe a run-down neighborhood.”

The show is in early stages of development and hasn’t yet been picked up by a network, said Andrea Davis, a spokeswoman for Joel Osteen Ministries.

“(Osteen) had been approached for a number of years by different networks with ideas along the same kind of lines but it just didn’t come together,” she said.

Joel and Victoria Osteen befriended Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, about a year ago, Davis said. The Burnetts have visited Lakewood to worship and the Osteens have visited Burnett and Downey in Los Angeles.

“But their friendship developed and it seemed to really gel - the idea that Mark had and what was on Joel’s heart,” Davis said. “(Osteen) had a desire to do something like this ... that’s reflective of Joel’s core message of hope and inspiration.”

Osteen’s 16,000-seat church is located in the former Compaq Center in Houston.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Leaders • TV

soundoff (818 Responses)
  1. larlarme

    30 pieces of silver, judas

    November 30, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  2. Bignutz

    I have big ball.s and I dribble them in your face

    November 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • sam

      me too

      November 30, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  3. hippypoet

    the cursades were awesome like sweet oh violence i hate everything cuz i'm retard.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • hippypoet

      lol i like it.. but lacks creativity... some kind of visual aid might be useful!

      November 30, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • sam

      We know it's you, christian soldier. rofl

      November 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • hippypoet

      srsly whatever

      November 30, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  4. Bullet

    There is an old saying that a fool and his money will soon part. Well, there are a lot of fools sending their money to this crook just to hear him say they might have a chance of going to heaven. If heaven is full of fools like Osteen, I prefer to go some other place. Beware of hypocrite preachers bearing koolaid.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • christian soldier

      Did you ever actually listen to this man?

      November 30, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Green Furhammer

      why would anyone ever want to listen to a christian talk?

      it's like listening to a child read out of a book about how they believe santa is real

      November 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • christian soldier


      If you've never listened to him, then why are you commenting? Just to hear yourself talk? I have listened to him, and I know that he is a false prophet. For one thing, he rarely, if ever, talks about "going to heaven."

      November 30, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Green Furhammer

      that's because there is no heaven.

      and i'm not listening to myself talk. i'm sitting here at a computer with my mouth closed, breathing through my nose and typing quietly.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • PreachOnBrotha

      I tend to agree with Bullet in the case of most TV preachers, but I do not lump Osteen in with them. Aside from his cheesy hairpiece, I think that he is quite sincere about his faith and positive messages. It will be a breath of fresh air to view a positive show such as this, as long as it is not produced in schlocky/cheesy manner, obviously aimed at overweight midwestern housewives, dripping with sappiness, like that awful house makeover show.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  5. Evil Devil Snake hiss

    No Dino/Wade. What I believe is whatever I believe to be true based on evidence that I receive from various experiences I have in my life. I do not allow someone else to tell me what I believe. If I have evidence that makes sense to me then that is what I believe to be true. As that evidence is proven to not be the best answer to whatever question or problem it had once answered, it then is replaced with another piece of evidence that again fits the problem or provides answers to whatever question I may have about the world.

    I do believe in some kind of master creator of some sort, to me believing in evolution does not make one not believe in your christian God, it merely means that I do not believe the literal translation of the christian bible as it stands today.

    I believe someone has some kind of plan or something for all of us, and leading good lives is a great thing. But spend your money on your family, give 10% of your salary to charity to help out your fellow man as Jesus tells you to do. Don't give it to this guy, give it to your small town local pastor who can't keep his church alive because there is no money coming in. Not because he can't give a good sermon, but he's not flashy enough.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  6. hippypoet

    nothing more christian then a money making scheme by explo-itation of the ignorant. The man truly is like jesus, in the sense that he uses people to make his lifestyle work. Desp-icable human being!!

    November 30, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • Which

      Which kool aid are you drinking out of? you seem to so happy all the time.

      Your happiness is so infectious in your words!!!. NOT!!!


      November 30, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • hippypoet

      🙂 very happy here and no deciet!

      November 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • christian soldier

      Blaspheming Jesus. Man, you are lost.

      November 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Green Furhammer

      i don't think jesus used people. he was just a guy that thought he was god

      just because he should have been in a mental hospital doesn't mean he meant any harm

      or was trying to manipulate anyone

      some crazy people actually try to do good things

      November 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • hippypoet

      LOL...fuk your christ... first thats a t!tle not a name and he never did what he was supposed to so you follow a loser which breed a loser based belief system that spawns losers...LOL

      November 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • christian soldier


      Man, why all the hate? Why all the anger? What is your problem? God loves you even though you blaspheme. I hope you learn to embrace the love.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • hippypoet

      embrace the love of the cursades...how would you like your sword, down your throat or up your @ss!

      November 30, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • christian soldier

      Well, I really don't think you're a muslim because a muslim would not blaspheme Jesus. So you shouldn't be complaining about the crusades.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • hippypoet

      nice avoid, but your right, i'm not a muslim, i am a non believer... and i was simple stating that your god stems only hatred, war, and blood lust... no better then that of a god that askes for blood sacrifice! your god is a jealous, hateful, and racist god...not only very human but not anything worth worshipping even if it did create us! an act of kindness if it created us, that which keeps at war with itself, would kill us off, completely!

      November 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • sam

      @ christian soldier – lol, 'blaspheming Jesus'. Aren't you cute.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • larlarme

      capitalism at its finest; taking from the gullible

      November 30, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  7. christian soldier

    When was the last time you heard this man preach about the e-vil afflicting this nation? We've got hom-ose-xuals running rampant, divorce, pre- and extra-marital s-e-x, people sponging off hard-working Americans, liberals running wild, and this man preaches as though everything is sunny.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Hope

      I think Osteen's focus is in bringing hope , If all preachers got worked up about the sad state of society all the time, who will bring the message of hope and healing?

      November 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Green Furhammer

      people sponging off hard working americans i can agree with

      they really should crack down on the church demanding money from people and not paying taxes

      the other stuff, nothing wrong with what people want to do with their personal lives

      the bible is wrong anyway about most things

      November 30, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • christian soldier

      "the other stuff, nothing wrong with what people want to do with their personal lives"

      Oh, but there is. It is e-vil. E-VIL. You should learn what that word means. It is dragging our country through the sewer and will bring us under the judgment of God.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • Green Furhammer

      what your bible says is evil and what really is evil are two different things. your bible god ordered the killing of babies. very loving indeed.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • sam

      So which are you – a troll, or a dumba$$? Right now you look like both.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • christian soldier

      "what your bible says is evil and what really is evil are two different things"

      What is YOUR measuring stick for evil? Oh, wait, I know what you will say ... everything goes if it is people's personal life. No, it doesn't. God sets what is evil.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • sam

      EEEEEVIL!!! EEEEEEEE-VIL!! You're killing us, here. Keep posting your BS, and see if we can hit 666 posts.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • Green Furhammer

      so you think it's ok for your god to order the murder of innocent babies?

      wow, you really are screwed up.

      i think society should keep some kind of rulebook, you know, laws. but when it comes to religious laws, lol. that garbage needs to be burned. the bible says that it's ok to r@pe a woman, as long as you pay her or marry her afterward.

      if you want ideas on how to be really evil, just obey the instructions the bible gives.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • Frank

      sammy enjoying the trollin buddy?

      November 30, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • christian soldier

      @Frank I love it.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • hippypoet


      November 30, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  8. Bobs friend

    Joel Osteen.. well, I'm a Christian & I've listened to him..He only talks about Jesus once per sermon.. at the end he gives the invitation. I don't begrudge him his wealth.. I'm sure he has all kinds of charitable work going on as nearly all Christian churches do. But I agree with those that say he seems more like a motivational speaker that happens to be a Christian...

    As if Tony Robbins came to the Lord!!!
    Anyway Christian brothers, it is prayer time for all of the angry mockers that haunt this board. Remember what Jesus said :

    Matt 7: "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." And remember also:

    1 Corin 2: 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    Let us Pray: Lord open the eyes of the blind. It is not your will that any of these people should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Remove thier hearts of stone and give them a new heart of flesh

    November 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  9. Chiara

    Will it also not be subject to taxes like his "church"?

    November 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  10. apathlegreenhorse

    Evil! The man and his brand of so called Christianity is evil. I have more respect for thugs like bank robbers then for this evil man and his hideous perversion of Christianity.

    November 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Green Furhammer

      christianity IS perversion.

      November 30, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
  11. Jefferson

    This guy is not an ordained minister. He took over after his daddy died. This guy worked behind the cameras and went to college to learn about television. He's nothing more than a con man with planes, a million dollar home, cars, and people who listen to him because he claims God wants them to be wealthy. Yeah, God wants me to be wealthy too, but not physical wealth. I am a Christian and no one I know likes this guy. He's all about money, not God. Give him YOUR money so he can increase HIS worth. I've never heard of him doing any type of charity work or anything else.

    November 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • tfly

      1. Osteen does NOT take a salary from the church
      2. Lakewood has Always done a LOT of charity work, in Houston and around the world.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  12. Expressing

    Am I the only one who can see this? http://imgur.com/dR1iw

    November 30, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • The Phist

      I have no interest in your meat spin or lemon party link.

      November 30, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • Evil Devil Snake hiss


      November 30, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • comment

      I think it's worse than that. He betrays the deepest trust with his lies and chicanery con game for hair grease money.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:16 am |
  13. Lauren


    November 30, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  14. Matt

    The Mormons were the largest political contributor to the anti gay marriage proposition in CA (prop 8). If they have so much extra cash to throw around, then they should be offering it up now to help with the deficit in the form of taxes. I think it may be time to look at who should be tax exempt and who should not. Lumping in religious organizations with admirable, hard working, and many times penny pinching charities is wrong. I wonder what Jesus would say about some of these churches and how ostentatious they are. I bet he would not pleased with the misunderstanding and misrepresentation of his supposed message.

    November 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  15. The Phist

    It would be fantastic if they got the drunken cast of jersey shore to show up on occasion at the church and randomly beat the hell from the pastor during a sermon or some of the congregation.

    Perhaps this will just be a reality show about how churches suck in tons of money and never pay taxes.

    November 30, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Ryan

      Only these big mega churches suck money out of the poor schmucks who follow pastors like this. My family and I attend small churches and you give what you can. churches do not expect you to give all of your savings. There are times when we can't so don't be saying "churches" as a blanket for ALL churches. Guess you never go then do you? I would never go to a church that had thousands of congregants like this so called "church" where everyone lives up scale (i've seen his show once and don't think I didn't see anyone not in a suit or funny looking hat, or anyone not above the age of 40. Lots of people who looked like they were retired and lived in the best of the best neighborhoods of Houston.) This "church" is nothing more than a giant stadium and is actually thinking about expanding. I read that Joel (not even ordained) has like 2 planes and a very expensive house. The pastors in the churches that my family and I have attended have to pay for theirs on a meager salary and can't afford to really do mission trips anywhere outside the state except for when there is enough money in the missions fund, which is usually every few years.

      November 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Green Furhammer

      he's not even ordained?


      what the balls does being ordained have to do with preaching?

      i hate religions but for christ's sake if these sheep want to preach let 'em. i wasn't aware that the bible required believers to be card carrying members of the god's army regime

      what a stupid post you just made

      November 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  16. BoldGeorge

    I guess we can safely assume that Mr. Osteen is officially a celebrity. He basically has the same concept in preaching as Disney and Nickelodeon: Live to the fullest, make a lot of money...and become a celebrity. I also wonder what his stand on 2 Conrinthians 6:14 is.

    November 30, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  17. marrod

    I smell a Jim and Tammy Faye Baker

    November 30, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Green Furhammer

      i thought i smelled prison s-e-x and fish.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  18. *frank*

    This slimy joker is the bastard son of Barney the Dinosaur and Josef Goebbels.

    November 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  19. alice

    Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? Matt 7:22 Why not do something for people with making a show of it? Yes he will make money put it in the name of the church and pay no taxes.

    November 30, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  20. SuperSeena

    I'm not christian....but i really like joel osteen and how he speaks....i think his show sounds cool...i'd watch it if it were good...his wife..i'm not sure...the one thing i heard about her and a plane trip...not so appealing...but not enough to judge her

    November 30, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • tfly

      Hi SuperSeena,
      The story about the plane trip – that lawsuit was thrown out after it was discovered the lady had filed very similar lawsuits against others before..and, witness accounts were in line with Mrs. Osteens story, not the lady who filed the lawsuit.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.