The 700 Club
|The 700 Club|
|Presented by||Pat Robertson (1966–87, 1988– )
Gordon P. Robertson (1996–)
Terry Meeuwsen (1998–)
Wendy Griffith (2013–)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location(s)||Virginia Beach, Virginia|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original channel||Syndicated (1966–)
CBN>The Family Channel>Fox Family>ABC Family (1977–)
|Original run||April 1, 1966– present|
The 700 Club is the flagship television program of the Christian Broadcasting Network, airing in syndication throughout the United States and available worldwide on CBN.com. Airing each weekday, the news magazine program features live guests, daily news, contemporary music, testimonies, and Christian ministry. Celebrities and other guests are often interviewed. Christian lifestyle issues are presented. The program also features major world news stories plus in-depth investigative reporting by the CBN News team.
Previous co-hosts include Ben Kinchlow (1975–88, 1992–96), Sheila Walsh (1988–92), Danuta Rylko Soderman (1983–87), Kristi Watts (1999–2013) and Lisa Ryan. Tim Robertson served as host for a year from (1987–88) along with Kinchlow and actress Susan Howard while Pat Robertson ran unsuccessfully for President of the United States in the 1988 campaign.
In 1960, Pat Robertson, the son of former U.S. Senator Absalom Willis Robertson, purchased the license for WTOV-TV, channel 27 in Portsmouth, Virginia, which had ceased operation because of poor viewership. Renamed WYAH-TV (known today as WGNT), the station began broadcasting Christian programming to the Hampton Roads area on October 1, 1961.
In 1962, the station suffered financially and almost closed. To keep the station on the air, WYAH produced a special telethon edition of the show. For the telethon, Robertson set a goal of 700 members each contributing $10.00 per month, which was enough to support the station. Robertson referred to these members as the '700 Club' and the name stuck. The telethon was successful and is still held annually.
After the telethon in 1966, The 700 Club continued as a nightly, two-hour Christian variety program of music, preaching, group prayer, Bible study, and interview segments. The music was hymns, instrumental pieces, southern gospel music, and urban gospel music.
The first permanent host of the program was Jim Bakker who, along with his then-wife Tammy Faye Bakker, also hosted a children's show on WYAH called Come On Over (later retitled Jim and Tammy). The couple left CBN in 1972; reportedly Jim Bakker was fired by Pat Robertson over philosophical differences. The Bakkers then moved on to help launch the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) before starting their own television ministry and signature show, The PTL Club. After the Bakkers left, some staffers at the station reportedly responded by destroying the Bakkers' sets and puppets. Pat Robertson took over as host, and evolved his 700 Club by cutting back on music and preaching and heading toward the talk show format developed by Bakker. Robertson transformed the 700 Club from a nightly religious-themed telethon to a Christian talk show.
The 700 Club originally aired only on WYAH-TV and other CBN-owned stations in Atlanta (WANX-TV) and Dallas (KXTX-TV), and later Boston (WXNE-TV). The program entered national syndication in 1974, as CBN purchased airtime on stations such as WPIX in New York City, KTLA in Los Angeles, WPHL-TV in Philadelphia, and WDCA in Washington, D.C., among others. The roster of stations carrying the program grew to over 100 markets by 1976. In some markets, the show aired on multiple stations, choosing between either the full 90-minute version or an edited 60-minute version. In 1977, The 700 Club received additional exposure nationally on the newly launched CBN Cable Network where, like CBN's broadcast outlets, it aired three times daily.
1980 to the present
In 1979, The 700 Club moved its studios from WYAH's facilities in Portsmouth into CBN's then-new campus in neighboring Virginia Beach, where the program continues to originate. During the 1980s, the show evolved into more of a magazine-like format, with news/opinion and lifestyle segments interspersed with interviews.
Even after CBN sold its group of terrestrial stations later in the decade, The 700 Club continued to air on CBN Cable as well as many commercial secular stations and Christian stations nationally. CBN was rebranded as The Family Channel in 1988. The Family Channel was packaged as part of a sale of International Family Entertainment to News Corporation and television producer Haim Saban in 1998. The channel was renamed Fox Family Channel, but only three years later Fox Family was sold to the Walt Disney Company and was subsequently rebranded ABC Family. As of 2005[update], The 700 Club airs on ABC Family thrice daily, part of a contractual obligation originally made as part of the Family Channel's sale to News Corporation. As of 2009, the first airing of the show in the morning (only) has been preceded by a half hour show called 700 Club Interactive, which utilizes internet user generated videos and comments by viewers of the show.
Between 1978 and 1980, discussions on current political issues became a part of the program, and news segments were added in the first 20 minutes of the show. Following Pat Robertson's lead, The 700 Club clearly endorsed a politically conservative agenda supporting Republican candidates and causes as the Christian right movement was beginning to emerge. According to Robertson, this had influence in the 1980 presidential election as well as congressional elections. It also served as the basis for Pat Robertson's candidacy for the U.S. presidency in 1988.
The 700 Club strongly supports Israel, especially in its conflicts with the Palestinians and the United Nations. Among its frequent Jewish guests are Michael Medved and Rabbi Daniel Lapin, who share the Club's conservative Judeo-Christian beliefs.
Controversies and criticisms
As a commentator and minister on The 700 Club, Robertson has occasionally addressed controversial topics, and made a number of bold statements to draw attention to a wide range of issues that have attracted criticism as well as support. Some of his remarks have been the subject of national and international media attention prompting responses from politicians.
Robertson's service as a minister has included the belief in the healing power of God. He has prayed to deflect hurricanes; denounced Hinduism as "demonic" and Islam as "Satanic." Robertson has denounced left-wing views of feminism, activism regarding homosexuality, abortion and liberal college professors. Critics claim Robertson had business dealings in Africa with former presidents Charles Taylor of Liberia and Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire who both had been internationally denounced for claims of human rights violations. Robertson was criticized worldwide for his call for Hugo Chávez’s assassination and for his remarks concerning Ariel Sharon's ill-health as an act of God. Robertson made American national news in October 2003 for interviews with author Joel Mowbray about his book Dangerous Diplomacy, a book critical of the United States Department of State. Robertson's commentary implied that if a small nuclear device were to be found at the State Department, such a thing might wake up America's leaders to actually realize a potential threat; however, government officials expressed disdain at the thought of such a scenario.
The week of September 11, 2001, Robertson discussed the terror attacks with Jerry Falwell, who said that "the ACLU has to take a lot of blame for this" in addition to "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays, and the lesbians [who have] helped [the terror attacks of September 11th] happen." Robertson replied, "I totally concur." Both evangelists were seriously criticized by President George W. Bush for their commentary, for which Falwell later issued an apology.
Less than two weeks after Hurricane Katrina killed 1,836 people, Robertson implied on the September 12th broadcast of The 700 Club that the storm was God's punishment in response to America's abortion policy. He suggested that September 11 and the disaster in New Orleans "could... be connected in some way".
On November 9, 2009, Robertson said that Islam is "a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination." He went on to elaborate that "you're dealing with not a religion, you're dealing with a political system, and I think we should treat it as such, and treat its adherents as such as we would members of the communist party, members of some fascist group."
Robertson's response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake also drew controversy and condemnation. Robertson claimed that Haiti's founders had sworn a "pact to the Devil" in order to liberate themselves from the French slave owners and indirectly attributed the earthquake to the consequences of the Haitian people being "cursed" for doing so. CBN later issued a statement saying that Robertson's comments "were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Dutty Boukman at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French." Various figures in mainline and evangelical Christianity have on occasion disavowed some of Robertson's remarks.
CBN Broadcasts currently reach over 100 nations in dozens of languages, and are viewed by more than 360 million people each year. CBN's primary strategy is to develop television shows produced by local staff in selected countries. Programs are culturally sensitive, relevant to the ethnic audience, and presented in their native language.
CBN has established international centers in Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the Middle East, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
|The 700 Club Asia|
|Created by||CBN Asia|
|Directed by||Derrek Adapon|
|Country of origin||Philippines|
|Location(s)||Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Metro Manila|
|Camera setup||Multi-camera set-up|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original channel||GMA Network (1995–2002)
GMA News TV (2011–)
Light Network (2011–)
BEAM Channel 31 (2014–)
|Original run||1995 – Present|
Regional versions of The 700 Club include
- Club 700 Hoy in Spanish
- Le Club 700 in French
- 700 Club Nigeria
- The 700 Club Asia
- Club 700 Germany
- The 700 Club Canada
- Ek Nayee Zindagi in Hindi
- Nireekshana in Telegu
- From Heart to Heart in Thai
- Solusi in Bahasa Indonesia
Viewers can receive follow-up spiritual help through telephone ministry, literature, and the Internet.
The 700 Club Asia
An Asian edition of the show, The 700 Club Asia, originally premiered in the Philippines in the mid-1990s on GMA 7 or Global Media Arts . It was originally produced and hosted by Pat Robertson's son, Gordon Robertson, and co-hosted by broadcaster Mari Kaimo, and Philippine TV personality Coney Reyes.
In 1998, Reyes took over as host and producer of the show, with Tricia Amper Jimenez as co-host. When Reyes left the show in 2000 for medical reasons, it was retooled as The Club, hosted by Jimenez, Peter Kairuz and Carla Martinez.
In 2001, the show reverted to its old format and moved to ABS-CBN 2 (a network unrelated to Pat Robertson's CBN and the rival network of GMA 7) and ABC 5 (a network unrelated to the American or Australian networks), where it aired on its sister station, Studio 23. Kairuz remained as host with veteran singer Maria Teresa "Dulce" Llamedo-Cruz and TV personality Chat Silayan-Bailon (1959–2006), who later died of colon cancer.
In 2006, the show moved to GMA's sister station, QTV 11. Kairuz was retained hosts the show, with Reyes returning to co-host. The show also features Kata Inocencio, Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan, Alex Tinsay and Felichi Pangilinan-Buizon.
Since QTV-11 went off the air, the show was carried over GMA News TV and began airing there on February 28, 2011.
- "Pat Robertson: the man, the mission, and the medium." Broadcasting. March 6, 1978, pp. 56-68.
- Biography: Bakker, Jim
- ABC Family: Contact ABC Family
- ABC Family Repudiates Robertson 'Hit' - 8/23/2005 4:19:00 PM - Broadcasting & Cable
- Randi, James (1989). The Faith Healers. Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-535-0 pages 197–206.
- Daily Press: Robertson Says Prayer Stalled Storm. August 18, 1995.
- Rajan, Valli J. (1995-07). "Christian Pat Robertson Denounces Hinduism as "Demonic"". Hinduism Today. http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=3502.
- "Robertson says Islam isn't a faith of peace: Televangelist calls radicals 'demonic'", Sonja Barisic, March 14, 2006, Associated Press.
- "Equal Rights Initiative in Iowa Attacked", Washington Post, August 23, 1992.
- ^ "California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Keeps Promise and Will Veto Abominable Homosexual 'Marriage' Bill Passed By Legislature Which Ignored Overwhelming Vote of California Voters in Proposition 22 Banning Homosexual 'Marriage'". Christian Coalition. 2005-09-09. http://www.cc.org/content.cfm?id=253. Retrieved 2007-03-31.
- "Abortion to Die by 1,000 Cuts After Today's Supreme Court Ruling". Christian Coalition. 2007-01-18. http://www.cc.org/archives/abortion/index.html. Retrieved 2007-03-31.
- "Right-Wing Watch", May 11, 2006, People for the American Way.
- "Pat Robertson's Gold", Colbert I. King, September 22, 2001, The Washington Post.
- Blumenthal, Max (2005-09-07). "Pat Robertson's Katrina Cash". The Nation Online. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- "Robertson suggests God smote Sharon: Evangelist links Israeli leader's stroke to 'dividing God's land'", January 6, 2006, CNN.
- "Pat Robertson: Nuke State Department: Colin Powell expresses outrage over evangelist's televised remark", October 10, 2003, WorldNetDaily.
- "Falwell speaks about WTC disaster, Christian Broadcasting Network" (MP3). Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- David John Marley, Pat Robertson: an American life (2007) p 273
- "Falwell apologizes to gays, feminists, lesbians". CNN. 2009-10-14. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- First Read, NBC: Robertson on Haiti: 'Pact to the devil'. January 13, 2010.
- Hamby, Peter (2009-11-18). "McDonnell won’t disavow Robertson’s Islam remarks". CNN. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- Urban Legend Expert Debunks Haitian ‘Pact with the Devil‘ 
- Lauerman, Kerry (January 13, 2010). "Robertson: Haiti had "pact with devil"". Salon. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- Televangelist Pat Robertson Says Earthquake Result Of "Cursed" Haiti's Satanic Pact
- "US evangelist says quake-hit Haiti made 'devil' pact". France 24. 2010-01-13.
- "Statement Regarding Pat Robertson's Comments on Haiti". Cbn.com. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
- Thylefors, Markel (March 2009). "'Our Government is in Bwa Kayiman:' a Vodou Ceremony in 1791 and its Contemporary Signifcations" Stockholm Review of Latin American Studies, Issue No. 4
- "Pat Robertson on Disasters: Consistently Wrong" Thursday, January 14, 2010, 1:01 PM by John Mark Reynolds
- "In Good Faith: Guest post: A message for Pat Robertson – A blog for news and discussion on matters of faith – baltimoresun.com". Weblogs.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
- Official website
- Official website for UK & Europe
- The 700 Club at Trinity Broadcasting Network
- The 700 Club at the Internet Movie Database
- The 700 Club at TV.com