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The Baxters: Roma Downey & Karen Kingsbury Discuss Amazon Prime’s New Faith-Based Drama 

The Baxters is a new faith-based drama series based on the bestselling novels by Karen Kingsbury. The series follows Elizabeth (Roma Downey) and John (Ted McGinley) Baxter and their five adult children as they navigate various trials together and their faith is tested and strengthened. The first episodes will release on Amazon Prime this Easter (March 31st).  

We chatted with Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel), who plays Elizabeth Baxter and serves as the show’s producer, and Karen Kingbury, the author of the original books and a contributing writer for the show. In the interview, they share their vision for the series, the importance of faith-centric shows, and what they hope audiences will experience.  

(Note: this interview has been edited for length and clarity. Watch the full conversation above.)   

Daniel Blackaby: Welcome! Thank you for taking the time to talk about this new show.  

Roma Downey: Thanks for having us, Daniel.  

DB: A lot of people are already very familiar with the Baxters from your books, Karen. But for those that will be meeting this family for the first time, what can they expect?  

Karen Kingsbury: It’s a doctor and his wife with five adult kids. They’re finding their way in relationships and trials and triumphs. Some are running toward God, and some are running away from God. 

But at the end of the day, it’s a very real family with very real faith. And the matriarch and patriarch, that’s John and Elizabeth Baxter, they’re praying for their kids and they’re inviting them back to the table to hold hands and to join hearts that they are not going to be separated by the things life is throwing at them. I think that idea of redemption and hope and healing over division is something we desperately need right now.  

DB: Absolutely. This is an uplifting show. But like you said, this family encounters various struggles and hardships. Each episode begins with a scripture verse. For the first episode, the verse is James 1:3, which says, “You know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” That speaks to that specific episode, but in a larger way that seems to encapsulate a lot of what this show is wrestling with.  

RD: The first episode jumps right into the heart of the issues with one of the kids discovering that her husband has been unfaithful to her. The family is gathered together, with each one reacting differently to the news. Kari herself isn’t ready to turn her back on her husband. She’s willing to walk forward with forgiveness. I don’t want to ruin the rest of the plot for you, but the show doesn’t shy away from issues like this. 

And it’s why I was so attracted to the book series. I saw that it had great potential as a TV drama, because Karen has written such amazing characters, and she places them in such extraordinary circumstances. Yet there is always that moment where you can completely relate to this family. And I think that’s what makes it most powerful, that people will be able to tune in to see the Baxters and see a family that reflects the values that we all hold dear. 

DB: In recent years, faith-based films seem to be thriving in theaters. But a faith-based television or streaming show still seems like uncharted territory. What was it about this story that seemed perfectly suited for this medium?  

RD: For many years, I starred on a TV series, Touched by an Angel. And over the years since it went off the air, I’ve had countless fans ask me, “Why can’t you bring a show like Touched by an Angel back to TV?” 

So, when I first read The Baxters, I thought this would be a fantastic TV show, because you’re absolutely right. We don’t get to see churchgoing families, families coming together in prayer on TV. It’s just such a rarity to see that. 

It’s very exciting to get a series like this on television and for Prime Video to make it the Easter launch. The Baxters plays out like a hope opera, and Easter surely is the grandest season of hope of all. It’s a time where we’re reminded of our deep, deep faith and the hope that our faith brings. 

DB: Obviously you’re hoping for good reviews and high viewership. But beyond that, what in your eyes would make this show a success?  

KK: The show waited a little while. It was filmed a few years ago, but there’s a reason for that. And I believe that it’s because God saved it for such a time as this. We tend to be more divided, and we tend to be lonelier since COVID. That’s just a generalization, but it’s true. And with The Baxters, they’re either going to see their own family or they’re going to find the family that they wish they had. And either way, as you tune in to watch The Baxters, you really will be coming home.  

DB: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat about this show. 

RD: Thank you. We appreciate you. 

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