Dallas Jenkins: Bad news about season four of The Chosen

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By Billy Hallowell —

The Chosen season four trailer/YouTube

Fans of the hit TV show “The Chosen” were likely surprised to see creator Dallas Jenkins release a Facebook video over the weekend with a shocking title: “I’ve got bad news about Season 4’s release.”

That proclamation gave a clue into some of what could be expected from Jenkins’ more than 16-minute “family chat,” as he dubbed it — a candid conversation about why season four of “The Chosen” was released in theaters, the monumental cost of producing the series, and upcoming plans for the show.

“Our previous path wasn’t proving to be sustainable,” Jenkins said of the crowdfunding model that launched “The Chosen” into meteoric success. Without going into excessive detail, the famed director also indicated current legal challenges are holding up the latest season’s streaming release.

The Chosen trailer/ YouTube

Efrem Graham, host of CBN’s “Studio 5,” has been covering “The Chosen” since its inception, and explained the ins and outs of the statements made by Jenkins in his video.

While Graham has assumed “something was going on” involving the streaming release of season four, he said he “did not realize the seriousness of it or the legal issues [and] financial issues at play” until Jenkins explained the details over the weekend.

The TV host credited Jenkins’ honesty and openness with the audience — something that’s often rare for the teams behind TV shows and movies. Yet it’s become a hallmark of Jenkins’ communications with fans, to whom he often speaks directly through social media.

“Dallas has been very good about being forthcoming whenever possible about any questions,” Graham said. “And anytime I’ve interviewed him, he’d always said, ‘Ask me anything,’ so I appreciate that from him.”

And that forthrightness was on full display in Jenkins’ video, with the director acknowledging some fans’ frustrations over being unable to stream the latest season. Considering “The Chosen” has traditionally been free to stream relatively quickly, Jenkins explained the financial reasons his team chose a theatrical run.

Many fans had become accustomed to the crowdfunding model and the simple release that didn’t involve ticket sales or other financial or logistical barriers. But the fiscal realities created the need for “The Chosen” team to get more creative.

“This is the single biggest, successful crowdfunded project in media history,” Graham explained. “It started with a partnership between Dallas and Angel Studios; they helped them to raise funds, and then, as the series grew, roles shifted because they needed more support … financially; they needed more support in terms of distribution.”

Angel Studios, which Jenkins described in the video as a former partner of “The Chosen,” has gone on to crowdfund other films like “Sound of Freedom” and “Cabrini,” adding a new model into the mix for faith and family-friendly projects.

Graham further explained some of the barriers Jenkins faces, including the need to use any incoming funds from a completed season for the subsequent season of the show.

“The Chosen” has always had a seven-season run, leaving Jenkins and his team to ensure monies are poured back into production. Movies don’t have these barriers as each project is able to pay out profits without the definitive need to hold monies for the next production.

“Going to the theater was not just, ‘We want more money,’” Graham said. “Be mindful that the money that’s made immediately goes back into production of the next season. This isn’t like a blockbuster film when you’re seeing that revenue come in opening weekend.”

Despite announcing the disappointing news about the delay, Jenkins did reveal some encouraging developments. His team is working to bring the show to churches and prisons, rallying people together around its faithful premise.

“That goes to the heart of Dallas Jenkins to want to see [‘The Chosen’] in prisons [where there are] people who actually need to learn about freedom in Jesus Christ,” Graham said, noting that Jenkins’ quest to bring the show to churches also shows his passion for the Gospel.

Graham encouraged Christians frustrated over the show’s release plan to “be patient” and noted only 5% of fans who watch have donated to help with production costs.

This small group, he said, is making the show possible.

“I have never seen fans treated so well in public by an entertainment entity as I have seen at ‘The Chosen,’” Graham said.

Watch the TV host’s full comments here to better understand the season four issues with “The Chosen.” — Faithwire/CBN

 

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