CBS Television Distribution

Before Touched by an Angel, a few television shows, not filled with controversy, survived in the '90s and early 2000s. There was a lot of violence, and PG13 (even Rated-R) productions that cluttered television stations, leaving minimum room for regular situational comedies, family shows, or something light-hearted and sentimental to succeed.

When Touched by an Angel debuted in 1994, it provided viewers with a show based on faith, love, forgiveness, and life lessons. Many critics didn't believe the pilot would sell, let alone make it through one full season. Yet, it did, and it lasted for nine seasons. Roma Downey and Della Reese played angels sent to Earth to uplift people going through hardships. The show's message touched the fictional characters and gave its audience a positive outlook on their own lives, relationships, and problems.

Downey, who portrayed Monica, got close to her character. However, she looked forward to playing a "non-angel" role when the show ended.

"My preference would be to do a non-angel role," Downey told Ability Magazine during an interview. "I've done that for so long, and I've been so close to that character. When you play a particular character for so many years—for me it was about 250 episodes—people start thinking of you as that character. It's hard for them to remember that you're actually an actress playing a role."

It's normal for actors to want to get far away from a role after living with that character for years. Even if they're grateful for the opportunity or enjoyed every moment on set, doing something different is healthy and proves they have range.

"But it was a fantastic show and experience. We became such family, and we all loved being a part of what the show had the potential to do, which was to touch people's lives in a very positive way."

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