By Gudrun Schultz

NEW YORK, New York, September 21, 2006 ( – The US National Broadcasting Corporation has agreed to run the enormously popular children’s cartoon “Veggie Tales,” which features moral and religious storylines centered on biblical themes, but the broadcaster is demanding that all mention of God be slashed from the shows before they can be aired.

Hosted by Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato, “Veggie Tales” has become something of a phenomenon in the 13 years since the series was first distributed on VHS, wrote the president of Media Research Center L. Brent Bozell III, in a Washington Times commentary last week. With little marketing and no television broadcasting, the video series has sold more than 50 million DVDs and videos through chain stores such as Wal-Mart and Target.

Originally NBC demanded that the producers remove all Biblical verses from the shows. Since then, the demands have become increasingly more draconian, the cartoon’s creator Phil Vischer reported on his blog site.

“At first we were told everything was ‘OK’ except the Bible verse at the end,” wrote Vischer. “Since we’ve staRted actually producing the episodes, though, NBC has gotten a little more restrictive. We’re having to do a little more editing,” and now, he said, he just hopes people will “maybe wander into Wal-Mart and buy a video with all the God still in.”

Earlier this week NBC came under fierce criticism by Christian leaders for deciding to air an un-edited version of pop star Madonna’s notorious crucifixion stunt, part of her global Confessions tour, this November. The performer appears strapped to a 20-foot cross and wearing a crown of thorns, in a parody of Christianity’s central and most revered image of faith.

NBC entertainment president Kevin Reilly accepted the stunt after previewing the production.

“We viewed it,” he told Access Hollywood, “and didn’t see it as being inappropriate.”

Read the Washington Times commentary:

See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
  NBC TV to Air “Blasphemous” Madonna Mock Crucifixion Stunt