Writer/filmmakers Sean Fahey and Dieterich Gray began developing a series about Archbishop Fulton Sheen in 2014. Now they are taking the pilot episode to agencies and networks. Pitching a 12-part historical drama about the Emmy Award-winning Catholic leader’s life and unprecedented success in television — not to mention his impact on the global stage — the pair is confident that they have a story worth telling.
“Our writing is historically accurate, as witty as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, with world-building as vivid as Mad Men, all while being as faith-driven as the greatest Christian cinema on the market, which makes visualizing Sheen’s journey so compelling,” says Fahey.
Archbishop J. Fulton Sheen
Venerable Archbishop J. Fulton Sheen is considered one of the most influential Catholics of the 20th century. An intellectual, theologian, and philosopher, Archbishop Sheen was a prolific writer, having authored more than 60 books.
As a media personality, Sheen was a major influencer, first in the days of radio hosting his program, The Catholic Hour, and later was an Emmy award winning pioneer of television with his series, Life is Worth Living.
As director of the Society for the Propagation of Faith in New York City, from 1950 to 1966, Sheen raised more money for the poor than any other American Catholic; also donating over $10 million of his personal earnings from his hugely successful television series.
“He gave so much to the church, and we want to show that, and we want to reveal one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century,” says Gray. “It’s a story that hasn’t yet been made for screen.
Fahey and Gray will be writing the rest of their series episodes over the next four months and taking meetings in Los Angeles and New York with major networks, venture capital firms, and A-list talent, with intentions to get a green light for their pilot episode this year.
Catholic Artist Residency Program
The Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, the Archdiocese of New York’s premier arts center in downtown Manhattan, has invited Sean Fahey and Dieterich Gray as fellows in their Catholic Artist Residency Program, to commence in March 2020.
The purpose of the residency is to support the development of Catholic artists, as well as to further the Sheen Center’s mission of exploring the true, the good, and the beautiful. The residency culminates in a final public project suitable to the artist’s medium and goals, and the artist should expect to contribute to the life of the Sheen Center during their residency.
As Sheen Center artist in residence, Fahey and Gray will be busy researching, writing, and refining their series.
To learn more about Fahey and Grey’s project, visit the series’ crowd-funding campaign here.
Top photo: Dieterich Gray and Sean Fahey