By Jeff Holder, Managing Editor
The family friendly series SUE THOMAS: F.B.EYE is now available on DVD. MOVIEGUIDE® had a chance to chat with the creators of the series, brothers Dave and Gary Johnson.
This prolific and talented duo also was the force behind DOC, HIGH INCIDENT, and AGAINST THE GRAIN. All of their work is known for its exceptional high quality and its inclusion of strong faith elements.
Over the years, SUE THOMAS has received several MOVIEGUIDE® Awards, including the prestigious Epiphany Prize.
Dave and Gary said the DVD set was made because of a strong demand from viewers.
“We had so many letters,” Dave explains. “Every day we get letters saying how the show has moved them, touched them, [and] that it’s their favorite show.”
Gary adds, “Facebook and that kind of thing has expanded the fan base by leaps and bounds.”
This demand for the show has led to all 57 episodes of the series now being available on DVD. But what created this demand for this series?
Dave says, “What we hear all the time on email is that people love (actress) Deanne and her spirit comes across. She has an amazing presence. People love the concept that Sue Thomas is a real person and the series is based on a true event. They also love the fact that this series honors God, but they don’t feel like they are being preached to.”
SUE THOMAS is the story of a real life FBI investigator who, though deaf, is able to solve crimes in ways that the regular agents are not able. The Johnsons report that people love sign language, and many have said that they are taking American Sign Language classes because of this show.
Dave read an email that he just received:
“My kids do not play house or tag. They play ‘Sue Thomas.’ Each is learning to sign, and they teach their friends how to sign. They invited a deaf friend over, who was touched by it all. They had a game where, to move forward, you have to do the sign.”
Dave said that there are many more letters like this.
Many people have written to say that while they may be different than others because of being deaf or other challenges, God still can use them and has not forgotten them.
Perhaps the greatest reason the show has had longevity is what Gary observes.
He says, “All great shows have a cast of people that you love to spend time with. You’re in the corner and part of the whole thing.”
With 57 episodes, Dave and Gary have a few favorites.
Gary says, “I love the Christmas episode. Also, the pilot which kicked it all off was my favorite. There also was a two-parter where they went undercover as a married couple, which I liked writing, and so I liked watching it.”
Making a series that is both successful as a TV show, as well as God honoring, is not always easy. Gary and Dave have tried to create memorable characters and stories that were made with professionalism and with a strong faith message.
Dave says, “I look at the marketplace of ideas. There’s many world perspectives and belief systems that are out there. For people consuming media, they are affected by them. We need to have our worldview in the marketplace. We need God-honoring people. Judeo-Christian beliefs must be in the marketplace.
“Hollywood is going to do it by accident, if they do it at all,” he added. “So I believe we need Christian financiers to step up to get these ideas to the marketplace. Every time they are in the marketplace and done well, they are financially successful.”
Dave recalls that getting SUE THOMAS on the air wasn’t easy. He tells the story of meeting with the network executives as part of the DVD’s bonus material.