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Touched by an Angel
Genre Fantasy
Created by John Masius
Starring Roma Downey
Della Reese
John Dye
Valerie Bertinelli
Theme music composer Marc Lichtman
Opening theme "Walk With You" performed by Della Reese
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 9
No. of episodes 212 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Martha Williamson
Producer(s) David Giella
Luke Schelhaas
Robert Visciglia Jr.
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 45–48 minutes
Production company(s) CBS Productions
Caroline Productions
Moon Water Productions
Original channel CBS
Original run September 21, 1994 (1994-09-21) – April 27, 2003 (2003-04-27)
Status Ended
Related shows Promised Land

Touched by an Angel is an American Christian drama series that chronicles the missions of a group of angels sent by God. Created by John Masius and produced by Martha Williamson [1], the series aried on CBS for nine seasons, from September 21, 1994 to April 27, 2003, and aired in many countries all around the world. Regular production was based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The show stars Roma Downey and Della Reese as an angel and a boss, who helped God direct life. The show's premise was based heavily on non-denominational Christian concepts. During its run, it was one of the highest-rated shows on CBS, and acquired a substantial fan base.

While John Masius is credited with creating Touched by an Angel, the series as produced was substantially different from the pilot Masius wrote, which never aired.[2] Masius' script emphasized human suffering, and the angel Monica confides that God toys with humans for sport.[3] Dissatisfied with the direction Masius was taking the series, CBS then brought in executive producer Martha Williamson, an evangelical Christian who made the show what it eventually became.[4]



The show usually revolves around a person or group of people who come to a crossroad in their lives, such as a big problem or a tough decision. Then angels enter the scene, bringing messages directly from God and helping people in their problems. Monica, the main angel character, is always learning how to assist humans with their needs and questions.

In the series premiere, bold supervisor Tess (played by Gospel singer, actress and pastor Della Reese) guides Monica (played by Roma Downey) on her first assignment as a case worker after being promoted from search and rescue.

Series finale

The series finale shows Monica, who is up for promotion, defending Zack, an innocent drifter accused of blowing up a school full of children. The prosecutor is actually the Devil, played by David Ogden Stiers. Despite Monica's best efforts, Zack is convicted.

Visiting him in the prison, Monica offers herself to be his guardian angel for the rest of his life, protecting him from the dangers of the federal prison.

Later the citizens find out the truth: it was the prosecutor who blew up the school and framed Zack. Monica makes the citizens see that there's still hope to rebuild the life in the town and helps them to free themselves of the anger.

Before Zack can be sent to jail, however, he disappears. Monica then finds out that Zack was actually God. Defending Him was a test, and she succeeds: according to His words, "Greater love hath no person nor angel than to give her life for another." He continues, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" These two lines have been considered the most explicit Gospel message of all the series. The first line almost directly quotes Jesus' words ("Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.") in John 15:13. The second directly quotes His words in Matthew 25:21. Monica earns her promotion,but before she goes Home, she bids farewell to Andrew and Gloria. Andrew gives her a pocketwatch "to remember all the good times we had". Tess hands Monica the keys to the red Cadillac convertible that the pair had received as a thank-you gift in the series premiere, and Monica is shown driving away as the camera pans out over the desert.



Regular cast and character descriptions

Monica (Roma Downey): Monica is the main character of the show. Sweet and tender, she was promoted from the Search and Rescue department to become a caseworker, with Tess, to help people, delivering them a message of hope from God. She also has a weakness for coffee, especially mocha lattes. Downey's natural accent, of Northern Ireland, was used throughout the show, with one episode focusing on The Troubles of her homeland.

Tess (Della Reese): Tess is the second protagonist of the show and Monica's angelic supervisor. Sometimes tough but always compassionate, she would eventually brighten everyone's spirits by singing with her melodic voice. A red Cadillac convertible and a dog were both given to her, both of which she values dearly, and an iguana, from Petey who is dying from Cystic fibrosis, which she tolerates. She is very frank and honest about the truth and usually tells people what they have to hear, not what they want to hear. She constantly refers to Monica as "Angel Girl" and "Ms. Wings." She also refers to Andrew as "Angel Boy" or "Mr. Halo". Although she consistently refuses to let Monica drive the Cadillac, she hands over the keys when Monica is promoted in the series finale.

Andrew (John Dye, 1996–2003, seasons 2–9): Andrew became a show regular in the third season. He was promoted from caseworker to an Angel of Death in 1865, but often works in both job areas during the show's run. As an Angel of Death, his job is to stay with and bring comfort to the dying and eventually brings them Home to Heaven. While the only time Andrew dreads his assignments is when he has to attend suicide or a child's murder, he still loves his job very much. He usually gets offended when he is personified as the grim reaper, who he portrays as a stereotype for death.

Gloria (Valerie Bertinelli, 2001–2003, seasons 8–9): Gloria is an inexperienced angel, because she was created by God during one of Monica's assignments (in the seventh season). But she's highly intelligent and constantly learns new things, like human strength and weakness. She's good with technology as well. Although initially shy, she adds a lot of humor to the show.

Recurring roles

  • Alexis Cruz – Rafael (16 episodes), one of the "specialty angels" called in from time to time
  • Paul Winfield – Sam (13 episodes), a senior supervisor at a rank above Tess
  • Charles Rocket – Adam (10 episodes), the first featured angel of death, too tender-hearted to kill a Thanksgiving turkey, and who makes regular appearances in season one and occasionally later in the series.
  • Hudson Leick – Celeste (2 episodes), featured in Angel of Death and Labor of Love.
  • Bill Cosby – Phil (2 episodes), the Angel of Reconciliation
  • Tara Reid – Jamie (2 episodes), cast as a virginal skating star.
  • Jasmine Guy – Kathleen, Monica's arch-nemesis, an angel and former cohort of Monica's who had turned to the side of the Devil. Kathleen's assignments usually involved trying to somehow derail Monica's assignments, but although she came dangerously close to succeeding more than once, Monica always triumphed in the end. Eventually Kathleen was "demoted" for failing in that mission one too many times, and Monica invited her to return to the side of God.
  • Chris Burke – Taylor (2 episodes), an angel with apparent Down Syndrome
  • Scott Wilkinson – D.A. John Tipton / Surgeon / others (8 episodes)
  • Randy Travis – Wayne / Jed Winslow (7 episodes)
  • Wynonna Judd – Audrey (3 episodes)
  • Patty Duke – Jean (3 episodes)
  • Keb Mo' – Isaac, the Angel of Music (2 episodes), In 1999 Keb' Mo' portrayed the character Isaac, the Angel of Music, in the episode "Then Sings My Soul" of the television series Touched By an Angel. He performed "Hand It Over" from his 1996 release Just Like You, in the 2002 episode "Remembering Me: Part 2". He also appeared as J. D. Winslow in the 2001 episode "Shallow Water" where he performed his song "God Trying to Get Your Attention" from his album Slow Down.

The show featured different guest actors in each episode.

Special guest stars


During its last season, Touched went from its 22 million viewers to 8.1 million, possibly due to the show being on a Saturday night, a slow night in primetime.

US weekly ratings

Episode Number Season Episode Rating Share Rating/Share
66 4 "Great Expectations" 15.1 23 TBA 22.65 TBA
82 4 "Breaking Bread" 14.5 23 TBA 21.71 TBA
115 5 "Fighting the Good Fight" 13.2 TBA TBA 19.80 #8
121 6 "The Letter" TBA TBA TBA 12.28 #5
122 6 "Til Death Do Us Part" TBA TBA TBA 13.15 #7
126 6 "Then Sings My Soul" 12.2 18 TBA 18.50 #9
128 6 "Millenium" TBA TBA TBA 14.32 #4
129 6 "With God as My Witness" TBA TBA TBA 12.62 #12
133 6 "The Perfect Game" TBA 19 TBA 12.39 #11
138 6 "Living the Rest of My Life" TBA TBA TBA 12.20 #9
139 6 "Stealing Hope" TBA TBA TBA 9.97 #10
142 6 "Mother's Day" 11.3 20 TBA 16.95 #13
143 6 "Pandora's Box" 11.6 18 TBA TBA #11
148 7 "Finger of God" TBA TBA TBA 10.55 #17
150 7 "God Bless the Child" 6.6 TBA TBA 9.90 #18
154 7 "Mi Familia" 7.6 TBA TBA 11.50 #20
159 7 "Winners, Losers, and Leftovers" 7.0 TBA TBA 10.50 #18
161 7 "Visions of Thy Father" 6.4 TBA TBA 9.60 #20
162 7 "The Penalty Box" TBA TBA TBA 8.92 #19
163 7 "Band of Angels" 6.2 TBA TBA 9.30 #13
164 7 "The Sign of the Dove" 6.3 TBA TBA 9.30 #23
178 8 "Angels Anonymous" TBA TBA TBA 14.64 #17
179 8 "A Winter Carol" TBA TBA TBA 9.08 #52
200 9 "The Christmas Watch" 4.8 9 1.5/4 6.95 #64
212 9 "I Will Walk With You (Part 2)" 8.9 15 TBA 12.90 TBA

US seasonal ratings

TV Season Time Slot Viewers
1 1994–1995 Wednesday 9:00 pm TBA #78
2 1995–1996 Saturday 9:00 pm TBA #34[5]
3 1996–1997 Sunday 8:00 pm 13.19 #10[6]
4 1997–1998 Sunday 8:00 pm 13.97 #6[7]
5 1998–1999 Sunday 8:00 pm 13.02 #8[8]
6 1999–2000 Sunday 8:00 pm 17.19 #9[9][10]
7 2000–2001 Sunday 8:00 pm TBA #24[11]
8 2001–2002 Saturday 8:00 pm 8.3 #79[12]
9 2002–2003 Saturday 8:00 pm 7.61 #86


Della Reese performed the theme song to Touched By An Angel, "Walk With You." A full-length version of "Walk With You," recorded with the Verity All-Stars, was included on the show's soundtrack album, which was released in November 1998[13] and went platinum. The album came out on the heels of the episode Psalm 151, broadcast November 15, 1998, which starred Wynonna Judd as the mother of a terminally ill boy and featured a guest performance by Céline Dion of "Love Can Move Mountains" (the boy's best friend, played by Mika Boorem, was a huge fan of Dion's and even nicknamed herself Celine). Dion recorded a new version of "Love Can Move Mountains" (originally a #36 Pop hit in 1993 from her self-titled second English album) with gospel group God's Property for the soundtrack. The song Judd's character performed at the end of the episode, "Testify To Love," was also featured on the soundtrack album, as was Wynonna's cover of Whitney Houston's "You Were Loved" (from Houston's movie The Preacher's Wife). "Testify To Love" was also a Contemporary Christian radio hit for the group Avalon.

The soundtrack album, Touched by an Angel: The Album, was composed of other songs featured on the show that season, including tracks by Shawn Colvin, Bob Dylan, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Amy Grant, and Jaci Velasquez. One other track from the album, "Somebody's Out There Watching," was a moderate country hit for The Kinleys, and Amanda Marshall's "Believe In You" was a hit on Canadian adult contemporary radio.

In Season 4 episode "Redeeming Love", Monica asks the Choir of Angels for help by which they begin the sing "God is my Redeemer" by Roger Thrower.

Awards and nominations


In the United States, the show has been seen on the Hallmark Channel since 2003.

DVD releases

Paramount/CBS DVD have released the first 4 seasons of Touched by an Angel on DVD in Region 1. Seasons 3 and 4 have been split into 2 volumes because of multiple Promised Land crossovers.

CBS DVD and Paramount Home Entertainment announced that they have moved on to single-disc "best-of" releases. Each set will feature a selection of episode favorites. Each set will contain a collection of episode favorites.

In Region 4, independent Australian distributor Shock Records has begun to release the seasons on DVD. Thus far they have released three volumes which feature episodes from the first two seasons.

DVD Name Ep # Region 1
The Complete 1st Season 13 August 31, 2004
The Complete 2nd Season 22 May 3, 2005
The 3rd Season, Vol 1 16 February 7, 2006
The 3rd Season, Vol 2 14 November 28, 2006
The 4th Season, Vol 1 13 March 27, 2007
The 4th Season, Vol 2 13 December 4, 2007
The Inspiration Collection: Holiday 4 November 10, 2009
The Inspiration Collection: Hope 4 November 10, 2009
The Inspiration Collection: Faith 4 January 26, 2010
The Inspiration Collection: Love 4 January 26, 2010

In popular culture

  • MADtv aired a sketch titled "Touched by an Atheist" (featuring well-known atheist George Carlin) that showed the angels and Carlin disputing the existence of God at a dying man's bedside. The sketch also poked fun at the well-publicized salary discrepancy between Reese and Downey.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Houses of the Holy," Dean makes several references to Touched by an Angel while mocking Sam's belief in angels.


External links

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