The Hollywood Reporter reviewed the first episode, which airs at 10 p.m. on A&E.
“Avoiding the juicier details of Scientology surely will make this show easier for A&E’s lawyers to clear and perhaps it will help Remini get more survivors/victims to come out of the woodwork for future seasons,” the story concluded, “but there’s a big audience that’s going to be curious about this one for tawdry, exploitative reasons and what they’ll find is more muted and humane than that.
“That can be a good thing, but through only one episode here I’m not sure if I’m craving more,” wrote Daniel Fienberg.
For those craving real dirt, see what church critic and watchdog Tony Ortega has to say:
“Scientology’s chief attack on Leah Remini … is that she wasted the LAPD’s resources when she asked it to find Shelly Miscavige, the vanished wife of the church’s leader. Please keep that in mind as you see Scientology call Remini and Mike Rinder and Amy Scobee liars tonight: Eleven years after Shelly vanished, Scientology still won’t discuss her whereabouts and that of several other disappeared executives.”
Perhaps the juiciest tidbit Ortega learned is about how the church pressured Remini to have CBS delete a Scientology reference from her sitcom “King of Queens.”
“They wanted us to take out a reference to [Tom Cruise ex-wife] Katie Holmes,” Remini said. “It was just a reference to her name but this was when she was in good graces with the church. Of course, they’d have no problem with that once you leave — they’ll try to destroy you and your family.
“Another time, I got pressure to call [CEO] Les Moonves at CBS to try and get a ’60 Minutes’ report squashed. I got a call from the church and Tom [Cruise] to call Les Moonves and use my influence to squash the story.”
She said Moonves rejected any interference in CBS News, adding: “I don’t give a s—t if it’s you, if it’s Tom Cruise, if it’s Jenna Elfman, you’re all going to get the same story from me.”