"A mystic, an atheist and a fundamentalist walk into a bar... okay, actually a television studio."
That's the opening line for Christopher Naughton's pitch for a program on the new Oprah Winfrey Television Network (OWN).
Winfrey is stepping away from her highly rated, syndicated daytime show and is developing a network that she saysis "a dream that I've been carrying around for years." Scheduled to launch in 2011, the OWN channel will program a portion of its 24/7 schedule with fresh talent and grassroots turned network programming.
Oprah Winfrey. (Wiki Commons)
Over 8,000 videos and hundreds of in-person "group auditions" were submitted for the "OWN your own show" initiative by last weekend's deadline. While a few entries with the most votes will get a second audition, the network executives are also looking to invite individuals who offer unique ideas expressed creatively and passionately for a call-back.
Naughton's proposed talk/feature program is unique among other entries in both content and format. His vision, as host and producer, is to offer a holistic worldview of current events and an exploration of the mystical founding of America. He describes his program as a combination of the interview style of CNN's Larry King, the spirited give and take of the panel on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, and the esoteric, metaphysical, and paranormal discussions on overnight radio's 'Coast to Coast.'
Naughton on American Law Journal TV with PA Gov. Ed Rendell
A former New Jersey prosecutor and trial lawyer, Naughton created the TV show, The American Law Journal, in order to develop a fuller discussion about the constitutional rights of Americans. The show airs to the tri-state Philadelphia metro area on the regional CNN-News affiliate. Naughton kicks off his 20th season this September with an hour-long, live program.
Ten years ago he hosted and produced a program for regional PBS onThe American Spiritual Visionthat examined the fundamental and esoteric groundwork of the nation's founding. It was a concept ahead of its time, but in the wake of the more recent popularity of books and movies like Conversations with God and The Secret, Naughton believes that now this concept would be a "perfect fit for Oprah's new network that follows in the footsteps of her body, mind, and spirit "Soul Series' about the power of spirituality and examination of beliefs."
Naughton (left) discusses legal issues on Philadelphia CNN-News affiliate
Currently Naughton hosts and produces "New World Radio" on the Unity.FM network.
In the mid-1980's, Naughton attended Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting University (now Regent University) for his Masters in Broadcasting, in Virginia Beach. At the same time he was extensively researching the Edgar Cayce readings, at the Edgar Cayce Foundation, in the same city.
Cayce, who died in 1945, is America's most documented psychic and medical intuitive. And while the headquarters of both organizations are in the same city, the two couldn't be further apart. In fact, Robertson has publicly denounced Cayce as doing the "devil's work.'
This is exactly the kind of diametrically opposed viewpoints that Naughton wants to explore on his show, as a way to build a "bridge across a broad spiritual spectrum." He notes, "We may be facing extraordinary challenges, but our opportunity for global breakthrough has never been better. And why not have fun doing it?"
He sees Oprah's new network "as a long-awaited venue for discussions about alternative spirituality and for fostering understanding in a time of great change," and believes there is an "emerging spirituality that is destined to sweep across the planet. "
As Abraham Lincoln said, "The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend." And that is Naughton's pledge and his passion-- to bring the diverse cultures and beliefs to common ground.
View Naughton's audition for Oprah at http://tinyurl.com/CNaughtonOWN, where you can also vote and comment.
Currently Naughton hosts and produces "New World Radio" on the Unity.FM network, airing 4pm EST Fridays online and 11am EST Saturdays, on WTAR-850 in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk market, and streaming on www.wtar.com.An active Facebook community follows the radio program. http://tinyurl.com/newworldradioFACEBOOK
Contact Christopher Naughton: info@ThisIsNewWorldRadio.com
Christopher Naughton iTunes podcasts at http://tinyurl.com/newworldradioITUNES
Oprah Winfrey Network: http://www.oprah.com/own
Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet by Sidney Kirkpatrick
Edgar Cayce Foundation/Association for Research and Enlightenment:http://www.edgarcayce.org/
Regent University http://www.regent.edu