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Series / Promised Land (1996)

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A 1996 American CBS Drama Spin-Off of Touched by an Angel about the Greene family (Gerald McRaney, Wendy Phillips, Austin O'Brien, Sarah Schaub, Celeste Holm, and Eddie Karr) traveling around the country to help those in need.

The show aired for three seasons from September 1996 to May 20, 1999.

Not to be confused with the 2022 series of the same name.

Tropes for the series:

  • Attempted Rape: In the episode "Take Back The Night", Dinah is assaulted when walking home from her hospital volunteer job. She manages to get away before he can complete the assault, but she's still badly affected anyway —taking a Shower of Angst and having Survivor Guilt upon learning that another woman was attacked that night, likely because the assailant was frustrated by his failure to rape her.
  • Bluff the Impostor: In one episode, a photography teacher becomes suspicious of the quality of the project LT has handed in and proceeds to ask him several questions in photographer lingo. Bristling at the implication, LT proceeds to not only answer him fluently, but even offer answers that he didn't ask for, thus proving that he alone worked on the portfolio.
  • Cool Old Lady: Hattie.
  • Crossover: Several with Touched by an Angel and one with Diagnosis: Murder.
  • Dad the Veteran: Russell Greene, who is a Vietnam veteran.
  • December–December Romance: Hattie dates quite a bit throughout the series and the finale is her wedding.
  • Department of Child Disservices: A social worker takes Nathaniel away from the Greenes after he gets into a fight, feeling that their nomadic lifestyle is harmful to him, as well as being concerned by his talking about the family being guided by angels, etc. The viewer knows that the Greenes aren't abusive or neglectful, but this would sound odd to an outsider.
  • Domestic Abuse: The episode "The Getaway" has the Greenes helping a woman and her daughter escape this situation.
  • Happily Married: Claire and Russell Greene.
  • The Gambling Addict: "The Winter" has the Greene family trying to help someone with this problem, which has become so severe that his car had been repossessed, his life is being threatened by bookies, and he's bordering on becoming abusive to his daughter when she refuses to give him the money he had given her to save to pay the rent.
  • Good Parents: Claire and Russell Greene. Even as parental substitutes to their nephew.
  • Homeschooled Kids: The Greene kids, out of necessity, given the family's lifestyle. Fortunately, Claire was a teacher.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Jameson Parker, who worked with McRaney on Simon & Simon, appeared in Take Back the Night.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: Despite the "road trip" premise of the show, in the final season, the family moved into and fixed up an old house, settling into the community after everyone admitted that (a) They liked it there and (b) were actually getting tired of the constant traveling.
  • Malcolm Xerox: LT, who had a tendency to see racism as the reason behind everything and often accused various members of the Greene family of being so, even Josh, despite the two of them quickly becoming friends.
  • Nephewism: The Greenes have custody of their nephew Nathaniel while his father, Russell's brother Joe, is in prison.
  • Never Learned to Read: Claire discovers this about a student and his father in "The Bookworm".
  • N-Word Privileges: Nathaniel hears LT using the word with one of his friends and assumes it's okay for him to do so, only to learn that it's not.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: The angels from its parent show up often. To the point that Andrew's presence actually frightens Dinah, as she knows he's the angel of death.
  • Revealing Injury: Middle daughter Dinah is attacked while walking home from her hospital volunteer job. She gets away after biting her assailant's hand. The next day, her father jumps one of their neighbors after seeing that his hand is injured, but the man's wife confirms his story of being bitten by a dog. Later in the episode, Dinah realizes she's alone with her would-be rapist when she sees the bite mark on his hand.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The premise of "Baptism By Fire" is based on the then-recent string of arsons targeting predominantly black churches, including a Knoxville church where National Football League great Reggie White served as an associate pastor.
  • Road Trip Plot: The entire premise of the series. Having been told by Tess of Touched by an Angel that God wants him and his family to travel the country helping people, Russell Greene packs them up and they set out to do just that.
  • Rogue Juror: Claire is this during the trial of a woman accused of negligence—her son had wandered out into the street while she was asleep and been hit by a car. After much discussion, the jury acquits her, but Claire is stunned when she goes to the woman's home afterwards and finds that she is indeed a negligent mother and that her other two children are in danger as well.
  • Spin-Off: Of Touched by an Angel, with a Back Door Pilot on its parent show that concluded with Tess telling Russell that God wanted him and his family to travel around the country helping people.
  • Teen Pregnancy: In one episode, the family must help a girl afraid to tell her father that she had a miscarriage and in the third season, Josh dates a teen mother.
  • Tragic Stillbirth: Claire contracts an infection late in her pregnancy, causing her to go into premature labor. Sadly, their daughter doesn't survive.
  • White Savior: In "Baptism By Fire", the Greenes pitch in to help African-American friends of theirs whose church was torched by racists, but the story focuses far more on how the Caucasian Greenes are affected as the racists target them too.