T.D. Jakes Developing Two Shows for Syndication (Exclusive)

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T.D. Jakes

The pastor of a Dallas megachurch is working on a weekly show built around a self-help book he authored and a daily talk show

T.D. Jakes, pastor of the 30,000-member Dallas megachurch The Potter’s House, successfully moved into faith-based movies, most recently with the hit Heaven Is for Real, and can be seen giving sermons on religious TV networks almost every day of the week.

Now he wants to expand into secular TV with two shows — one, a weekly program based on his latest book, Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive, and the other, a daily talk show targeted for national syndication in 2015 or 2016.

Jakes and his TDJ Enterprises are partnering with 44 Blue Productions (Wahlburgers) and Enlight Entertainment to develop and package the two shows, which will be shopped to domestic TV syndicators later this year.

“We think that viewers are hungry for the opportunity to learn from his insights,” says Stephanie Drachkovitch, 44 Blue Prod. co-owner and executive vp, adding that she believes “his unique voice and universal message will motivate and entertain.”

“As a communicator, I could not be more excited about this collaboration which allows our brand to extend its presence onto the small screen,” said Jakes in a statement, adding that this will enable him to “tell the untold stories of empowerment and inspiration, that I’m known for, to wider, more diverse audiences.”

The show built around his book Instinct would feature Jakes telling stories about people who have brought about change or made a difference by tapping into their abilities to achieve productive and satisfying lives, according to the announcement.

“For years people from all walks of life have found both healing and motivation from T.D. Jakes’ message,” said Rasha Drachkovitch, president of 44 Blue Prod. 

Born in 1957, Thomas Dexter Jakes founded his first church in 1979. He moved to Dallas in 1996, where the church operates in a 191,000-square- foot sanctuary, and has several satellite sites. It also operates schools and training academies.

TDJ Enterprises is the for-profit company that does Jakes' entertainment projects; The Potter’s House is a nonprofit.

That includes the feature film Heaven Is for Real, starring Greg Kinnear, which opened April 16 and has grossed just over $100 million worldwide ($91 million of that in North America) on a $12 million budget.

Jakes' earlier movies include Jumping the Broom (2011) and Woman Thou Art Loosed (2004).

Jakes’ show The Potter’s Touch, a compilation of his Sunday sermons, airs on the Trinity Network (and other religious broadcasters) most weekdays and Sunday.

He did an anniversary special on BET that aired Aug. 17. He serves as executive producer on BET’s adaptation of Let the Church Say Amen, based on the novel by ReShonda Tate Billingsley.

He also has appeared on shows including Dr. Phil and Oprah’s Lifeclass; and has been seen on networks including CNN, MSNBC, Fox and CBS.

Jakes is an author, songwriter and playwright, whose nonfiction books include Maximize the Moment; The Lady, Her Lover and Her Lord; The Great Investment: Faith, Family and Finance; and God’s Leading Lady.

He also has a music label, Dexterity Sounds, that operates in collaboration with EMI Gospel Music. His album A Wing and a Prayer, featuring Jakes and The Potter’s House Mass Choir, received a Grammy in 2004 as Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album.

His church does outreach around the world and in prisons; and he puts on conferences, including MegaFest, which draws more than 75,000 participants.

Founded by Rasha and Stephanie Drachkovitch, 44 Blue Productions, created the MSNBC show Lockup. Its other programs have included Animal Planet’s Pit Bulls & Parolees, Married to the Army, Alaska; and Spike's Pirate Hunters.

The two shows being developed will be executive produced by Stephanie Drachkovitch, along with Adriane Hopper of Enlight Entertainment, T.D. Jakes and Derrick Williams of TDJ  Enterprises. All are represented by William Morris Endeavor, which helped facilitate the collaboration.