It'll be 'Half Hour of Power' at Crystal Cathedral in some markets
The 42-year-old television ministry, filmed at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, announced the format change Thursday as it detailed plans to return to the airwaves this Sunday. The show has been in reruns since Schuller abruptly cut ties to the ministry last month.
“We’ve been considering this move for years,” John Charles, the president and CEO of Crystal Cathedral Ministries, said in a statement.
“The market has changed, with more demands on people’s time and more options for viewers," he said. "Most ministries that televise their services use a 30-minute format. This will give us the capacity to expand our weekly viewership without expanding the budget.”
The new episode, taped March 18, features Pastor Lawrence Wilkes, the president of the California Graduate School of Theology, and traditional music with a choir and orchestra, according to a release.
A 30-minute version of the show will air Sunday on the Discovery Channel and the shortened version will also appear on Lifetime on May 13. The show will air for a full hour on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
The ministry said it expects viewership to increase by 25% because of the change.
Currently, an average of 230,000 U.S. viewers watch the show at any point during the weekly broadcast. The ministry also claims an international viewing audience “in the millions.”
The church, which is in bankruptcy, sold Crystal Cathedral to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and the Schuller family has been battling the church's board and its creditors committee over claims of unpaid money for contracts and copyright infringement.
Sheila Schuller Coleman, who had been senior pastor at Crystal Cathedral before abruptly stepping down, formed her own ministry and is conducting Sunday services in a movie theater.
-- Nicole Santa Cruz
Photo: Crystal Cathedral. Credit: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times