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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. Plug1

    This clown is a devil, a thief,and misguides the people he steals from.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • 2blessed

      To all these people with such negative response.Jesus loves you no matter if you dont know him.The relationship I experience with this church is one thing,but its reallyt the relationship I have with jesus is very important.I have served this church since 2001and. Ive experience the most greatest miracles in this church. Our pastor is a great leader and example of Jesus! We completely understand about not understanding the people of God but its alll good.Give it a try and develope a relationship with Jesus and you will understand what Im talking about.We love you all and god bless!!!

      November 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Dani

      Please explain these "most greatest miracles." When I was very young I was brainwashed into believing in santa claus. When I was old enough to reason I would wonder how a fat, old man could possibly squeeze himself dowm narrow chimney shutes in my neighborhood without suffering a heart attack and how deer could fly with no wings. It didn't make any sense and that's when I stopped believing in the santa claus fantasy. Today, christmas is a gimmick.

      November 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  2. Lena Scott

    Why not let Joel do his thing and you all do yours......which will be GOING TO HELL. If you think God will not see all your nasty little comments, then think again. You will all be sorry one day. But I guarantee you, Joel and his family WILL NOT be. If you don't like his show, THEN DON'T WATCH IT. Why don't you all go and finish worshipping satan?

    November 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Brett

      I'd rather than be in Hell than to spend eternity in Heaven with someone as obnoxious as Joel Osteen.

      November 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • claybigsby

      wow scary....here is an idea. When speaking to adults, try not to use the typical fear mongering techniques used on children.

      The fact here is, you DO NOT KNOW with absolute certainty, that your statements are correct. You consider faith an absolute when it is far from that. Do not try and tell me you KNOW any more about how and why the universe was created, why mankind is what it is, and how we came to be. There is no way you KNOW more than I or anyone else does. Speculation at best. But keep up the fear mongering...suits you.

      November 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Rationalize

      Well spoken like a true sheep. So if I don't follow homeboy big-smile there, I guess I'm going to hell and I also worship satan. Talk about living in an enclosed world. No point talking to people like you; you're the kind I don't feel sorry for when they get taken advantage of with people like Osteen.

      November 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • larlarme

      pathetic. just pathetic. if there were a hell, osteen would be headed that way, as the epitome of preaching false idols. his music to come to the altar – ghost riders in the sky

      November 30, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  3. Mike

    Remember, please, that the prosperity-seeking, money-hungry preachers all want a TV show. It's the MUCH LARGER percentage of evangelicals that don't buy into this malarky that you rarely hear about.....

    November 30, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  4. Brett

    The reality show will be sponsored by Cure-all Snake Oil and Big Ripphoff's Used Cars.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  5. Saby

    with all the garbage on tv, I don't see how anyone can complain about this. Biggots.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Saby

      sorry, I meant to ask, "biggots?"

      November 30, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  6. Seb

    All of you people have never listened to or watched any of Joel's teachings. If you did, instead of criticizing and making extremely harsh statements about a person that has never taken a penny from his the Church but make all of his personal money off of his books and then gives back a very large percentage of that money to the Church. Joel is a great teacher and yes he is motivational, which is awesome because he doesn't try to shove religion down your throat. He doesn't self promote in his teachings either. I'm not even a Christian, but I have listened to him and I can appreciate positive teachings. You people are so pessimistic and sadistic. It's really sickening and sad.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "He doesn't self promote in his teachings either"

      what do you call this reality TV show then?

      November 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Eddie Hurley

      you only judge a man by what he preaches if it matches the bible prefect and his dose not you take all the word he makes you feel good the word is sharp it will cut the hide off of you

      November 30, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Ryan

      You are correct. I am not a religious person in the slightest, but I often find myself pausing between channel changes when I come across Osteen's show. He is what preachers should be. His messages often seem to be messages of inspiration rather than threats of hell fire and brimstone. His delivery is calm, soothing, and passionate all at the same time.

      I may not share his religious beliefs, but I've always found him a very likable personality.

      November 30, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  7. Donna

    I think it's a wonderful, inspiring idea! Joel has real insight into the challenges everyday people face and I've gotten a lot out of his sermons. I would love to see these samaritan projects in action.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Blessed

      Me too Donna I agree! Finally something positve, clean and Godly is about to be on t.v.

      November 30, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  8. Blessed

    This is awesome! Hopefully many people will be helped in the process, I know that this show will become a succuss in Jesus Name! Glad to see something with substance is going to be on t.v.-AND To vdanker I guessed you missed the part when “(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,” So its not about the money!

    November 30, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "I guessed you missed the part when “(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"

      AKA...those different networks wouldnt pay me enough money so I held out until one did. The fact that you think this show will be a good thing shows how uneducated and inept you are.

      November 30, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • duklips

      I'm trying to be civilized, but are you SERIOUS? This guy is a self promoting, "prosper through Jesus' huckster. Merely seeing him makes me want to blow chunks.

      November 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • duklips

      Oh, and by the way, how many houses does he own; where are they; what's their sqaure footage; what kind of plane does he take to his huckster shows; and what's his annual income?

      November 30, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  9. Question everything.

    Anyone who smiles that much has a screw loose or something up their sleeve. It's just not natural; I don't believe Jesus even smiled that much in his lifetime. He must be smiling because he knows he's rich and not really doing anything for anyone. Teach people to look within themselves for answer, not give you money for your opinion on something they could solve themselves. People should meditate for answers, not look in a book written thousands of years ago.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Johnny 5

      Well said.

      November 30, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Blessed

      @Question everything–May be if you knew who JC was you would be smiling everyday also! Just cause your miserable and don't smile that much maybe you have a few screws loose or something up your sleeve! Instead of wasting your life to meditate for answers maybe you should crack open that book written a thousands of years ago that has all the anwsers!

      @kalikim you should be carefull of what you say about God's children, you no nothing about them!

      @Christopher-You should follow Jesus Christ not religion!

      November 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  10. aginghippy

    How ironic that the worst snake oil salesman in the country wants to do a "reality" show. This sleazebag wouldn't know reality if it bit him on the a$$.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  11. GAW

    Oh well just about everyone want's to get on the 'Reality' bandwagon these days. There is a good chance this program won't last very long and won't attract the following other reality programs have to offer (It probably wont have enough conflict and Snooki ). Even though I don't care for Osteen his message seem to be nothing more than a cafeteria selection of positive thinking, Pentecostalism, and the good ole American Health and Wealth Gospel.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  12. gesi

    There were just about 8 evangelicals at the turn of the 20th century. Right now there are about a billion of them, with a majority of them beleiving in the doctrine of prosperity. We hold no one an apology for our beleives and indeed we will follow the path that has been laid for us. Whether you believe or not,one thing is for sure, the earth is the LORDS and the fullness thereof. If God has choosen to give us the wealth of the earth then that's his choice!

    November 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Steve

      You have got to be kidding me !! Go take that other scammer Joyce Meyer and go fly a tax free kite !!

      November 30, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Curious

      How is the prosperity doctrine working out for you?

      November 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "If God has choosen to give us the wealth of the earth then that's his choice!"

      With this logic, the the following would apply...

      If god has chosen to let millions of people to suffer from hunger and perish then thats his choice.
      If god has chosen to let little kids get molested by adults, thats his choice.
      If god has chosen to let airplanes crash, then thats his choice.

      Delusional

      November 30, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • duklips

      Santa Claus brings us wealth; Jesus brings us the likes of Osteen. My friend, you need to take a reality check.

      November 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Eddie Hurley

      he chose 12 the only one had money was judas the 11 had nothing food for thought

      November 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @gesi

      God wants to bless his followers! Being wealthy is a gift from god. By rejecting god's blessings, you poke your finger in His holy eye!
      I guess the starving aren't as loved as that fat lady in the 2nd pew on the left... Is she praying, or just chewing?

      Jesus made a number of very clear statements about money and wealth in the Bible. I know you don't hear the word of Jesus much anymore. The Evangelicals prefer the words of Paul. But I have to ask, who do you believe the Messiah was?

      This is what Jesus said:

      Matthew 6:19
      Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

      Luke 14:33
      Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
      Matthew 6:24
      No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money.

      Matthew 19:21-24
      Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

      Matthew 19:28-29
      Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

      Luke 9:23-25
      Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

      Matt 13: 22
      The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.

      Hebrews 13:5
      Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

      Phil 2:3
      Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

      Acts 2:44-45
      All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.

      Here are six important statements about wealth from the Bible:

      Matthew 6:19
      Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

      Luke 14:33
      Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

      Matthew 6:24
      No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money.

      Matthew 19:21
      Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

      Hebrews 13:5
      Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

      Phil 2:3
      Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

      I think you prosperity gospel folk better hope the atheist are right. Jesus may send all 1 billion (your figure) to hell.

      Cheers!

      November 30, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • FrankMD

      When Jesus walked this earth – was he a man for the politicians, the wealthy or who had influence or was he a man for the poor, the less fortunate, those who were easily discarded. Thus his words about earthly possessions served the population he spoke to just like those who Olsteen speaks to, it serves them well, too. Both require faith that indeed they are who they say they were. Is the Bible words written by God or words written my men who dreamed of a God. Did Jessu actually say these words or were these words ascribed to him many years after this death. It was not like there was a recording made or a journal kept by any one – it was all written after the fact. And we do not know exactly who wrote all the books of the Bible including the ones which were discarded by religious leaders as not being included in what the Bible is today. So quote away all you want but they are just words. I am tired of words. I am more impressed by actions!! I see no Jesus like behavior in any one I meet whether they are religious or not. Plenty of people can speak the words but very few live them – if any!!

      November 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • FrankMD

      As for HELL, that almighty scare tactic of religions – if you think we are all not already in hell, then please desribe it too me. Just read the news and I mean world news of all the terrible acts that happen each and every day – never mind the suffering of people in poverty whether that be money, clothing, safety or nutrition and then come back and tell me that this is an earth blessed by God and not hell. No one has come back to tell us exactly what heaven or hell is all about – we have people who preach endlessly on such topics but in reality death is like turning off you television and then loosing the remote forever. If you think you are going to some place to walk around then how you have a body when your body does not exist any more will be difficult to make sense. Is their some other dimension to our surroundings? Is this where all the spirits go – and some of it is hell and the other is heaven? Faith is betting your entire life on something you can neither prove in any shape or form except through some words by some men who put together a book many years ago. There are many other religious books making up many other religions of the world and they all have common themes like the Bible. Yet, there is no denying when you are dead there is no measureable activity of anything happening in your body or around it. I am tired of all preachers – do not go and speak in tongues – give me proof of what you say. There have been many prophets throughout mankind and many religious books – thus why the world has so many religions and so many zeolots, too. How different the world would be, if we simply stopped talking about our religious beliefs, our political beliefs and actually did something to help each other. I doubt any of these religious voices have casted away all their possessions and are leaving in the woods praying and following Gods words – and if you hear some one telling you do something – we do have some help for you and some very good medications, too, that will make those voices stop!!

      November 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Dani

      Do you believe in santa, the easter bunny and the tooth fairy too?

      December 1, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  13. KillYourTelevision

    Hold on John
    I think there's something good on.
    I used to read books but.....
    It could be the news
    Or some other amusement
    Or it could be reusable shows.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  14. Larry Green

    This is nothing but a way to promote his family business. It is a shame that the church has been turned into a way to make millions for oneself.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Phyl

      False prophet.... the world is full of them.....so sad the masses are following this guy...:(

      November 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  15. kalikim

    Joel & Victoria are as slick as a couple of greased pigs. And didn't Jesus say, "Don't throw your pearls to swine"???

    November 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  16. Gracko

    The GOP debates have been a huge success of a reality show already. How can you improve on perfection?

    November 30, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  17. Christopher

    This guy is a ass hat. I think religion in general is a scam lol.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  18. Steve

    How to get rich and arrogant in the name of the Lord ?? NO THANKS !!

    November 30, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Reader

      would you rather watch Kim Kardashian?

      November 30, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Steve

      I wouldn't waste my time on EITHER of these 2 phonies...

      November 30, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  19. Ron San Bruno, Ca

    Well you have the pearly gates and now will have the pearly whites.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  20. vdanker

    Another money hungry motivational speaker masquerading as a preacher.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Steve

      Like that scammer Joyce Meyer...

      November 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
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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.