Promised Land (TV series)
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|Created by||Martha Williamson|
|Theme music composer||Marc Lichtman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||68 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Steven Phillip Smith
William A. Schwartz
Robert J. Visciglia, Jr.
|Running time||45–48 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Moon Water Productions
CBS Television Distribution
|Original release||September 17, 1996– May 20, 1999|
|Related shows||Touched by an Angel|
Promised Land features Russell Greene (Gerald McRaney) who was a on a divine mission. On the premiere episode, which aired as a special episode of Touched By an Angel, angels Tess and Monica asked Russell, recently laid-off from his factory job, to "redefine what it means to be a good neighbor and recapture the American dream." To do this, Russell and his family traveled around the country in a beat up Airstream trailer, helping people in need, looking for work, and learning from their experiences. Russell's family included his wife Clare (Wendy Phillips), who was licensed to homeschool their kids while they were on the road; his mother Hattie (Celeste Holm), who updated a hand-embroidered map to show all places they had traveled; and his teenage son Josh (Austin O'Brien), daughter Dinah (Sarah Schaub), and young nephew Nathaniel (Eddie Karr), who had been abandoned by Russell's troubled brother Joe (Richard Thomas). Erasmus was an old friend of the family who lived in Chickory Creek, the small town in Kentucky where Hattie grew up. The family frequently returned to Chicory Creek to celebrate holidays and rest. Occasionally they were assisted by Tess or other angels while they tried to help people overcome their personal problems or rekindle their lapsed faith.
Early in the second season, Claire found out that she was pregnant, but tragically their infant daughter, Grace, died soon after her birth in the season's final episode. In the third season, the family decided to settle down and moved into a run-down small house in a poor neighborhood in Denver, Colorado. Russell convinced the owner to let them live there rent-free in exchange for the renovations he made to the house and Claire got a job at a guidance counselor at the local high school where Josh and Dinah enrolled as students. Russell volunteered working at the Ridley Center, a neighborhood teen center. Living next door to the Greenes in Denver were Shamaya and her teenage brother L.T., a former gang member having problems with going straight. Bobbie, an unwed mother with an infant son, was Josh's girlfriend, and Margot was a friend of Dinah's. In the series final episode, Hattie married an old friend of the family and Russell quit the Ridley Center and took a job at a policeman.
Most of the third season was spent in Denver, Colorado, but — much like Touched by an Angel — it was filmed in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Gerald McRaney.....Russell Greene
- Wendy Phillips.....Claire Greene
- Celeste Holm.....Hattie Greene
- Austin O'Brien.....Joshua 'Josh' Greene
- Sarah Schaub.....Dinah Greene
- Eddie Karr.....Nathaniel Greene
- Eugene Byrd.....Lawrence "L.T." Taggert, Jr. (Season 3)
- Kathryne Dora Brown.....Shamaya Taggert (Season 3)
- Michael Flynn.....Principal Vincent Peters (Season 3)
- Tinsley Grimes.....Bobbie Wagner (Season 3)
- Ashleigh Norman.....Margot Noteworthy (Season 3)
- Ossie Davis.....Erasmus Jones (Seasons 1-2)
- Kamar de los Reyes.....Leon Flores (Season 3)
- Della Reese.....Tess (6 episodes)
- John Dye.....Andrew (5 episodes)
- Richard Thomas.....Joe Greene (4 episodes)
- Roma Downey.....Monica (3 episodes)
The series aired Tuesdays at 8:00 pm (EST) on CBS for its first season and Thursdays at 8:00 pm (EST) for the rest of its run.
The pilot episode was filmed in the spring of 1996 by the crew of Touched by an Angel at the conclusion of production of the latter's second season. The pilot episode took place primarily in the fictional town of Chickory Creek, Kentucky but the actual location was Springville, Utah.
Because Touched by an Angel continued production for a third season, a new crew was hired for production of the Promised Land series. In the meantime, parts of the pilot episode were re-written and two characters from the original pilot episode were recast. Originally, the part of Hattie Greene was played by Peg Phillips. Celeste Holm replaced her in the cast. The part of Nathaniel Greene was also recast with Eddie Karr playing the role in the new version of the pilot and throughout the series. The newly hired crew of Promised Land spent six days reshooting portions of the pilot episode in July 1996.
The storyline of the series called for the Greene family to travel throughout the United States, so northern Utah served as a stand-in for many states. As was the case with Touched by an Angel, the crew's filming locations were usually within a two-hour drive from downtown Salt Lake City. However, during each of the first two seasons, three episodes were filmed in and around Saint George, Utah. During the third season, three episodes were filmed in and around Natchez, Mississippi (in August and September 1998).
Awards and nominations
|1997||Young Artist Award||Nominated||Best Performance in a TV Comedy/Drama - Supporting Young Actor Age Ten or Under||Eddie Karr|
|Nominated||Best Performance in a Drama Series - Young Actress||Sarah Schaub|
|Nominated||Best Performance in a Drama Series - Young Actor||Austin O'Brien|
|Nominated||Best Family TV Drama Series||
|Won||Best Performance in a Drama Series - Guest Starring Young Actor||Benjamin Salisbury|
|1998||Nominated||Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Leading Young Actor||Eddie Karr|
|Won||Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Leading Young Actress||Sarah Schaub (Tied with Beverley Mitchell for 7th Heaven)|
|Won||Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Leading Young Actor||Austin O'Brien (Tied with Michael Yarmush for My Life as a Dog)|
|Won||Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Guest Starring Young Actor||Trever O'Brien|
|Won||Best Family TV Drama Series||
|1999||Nominated||Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Guest Starring Young Actor||Zach Hopkins|
|Won||Best Performance in a TV Series - Young Ensemble||Eddie Karr, Austin O'Brien, and Sarah Schaub|
|Won||Best Family TV Drama Series||
|2000||Nominated||Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Leading Young Actress||Sarah Schaub|
|Won||Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Leading Young Actor||Austin O'Brien|
|1997||PGA Awards||Won||Most Promising Producer in Television||Martha Williamson|
|1998||Emmy Award||Won||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series||Cloris Leachman (For episode "Mooster's Revenge")|
|1998||YoungStar Award||Nominated||Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Drama TV Series||Austin O'Brien|
|1999||Nominated||Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Drama TV Series||Austin O'Brien|
|1999||NAACP Image Awards||Won||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Ruby Dee (For a guest star or recurring role)|
|Won||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Ossie Davis|