For sheer coarseness, it would be hard for any cartoon to top TV’s “South Park.” That is why we don’t think that the new NBC cartoon, “God, the Devil and Bob” will reach that level. But it certainly doesn’t promise to be the cartoon analogue of “Touched by an Angel,” either.

Before the show debuted on March 9, six NBC affiliates stated they would not run the program. As it turned out, the opening show wasn’t blatantly offensive, though it did trivialize religion and had a number of tasteless moments. There were a few unfair swipes at evangelicals, but there were none against Catholicism.

Bill Donohue and Pat Scully were interviewed by the press about the show. They said they would monitor the program and see how it develops. There is an upcoming episode where God has a girlfriend, voiced by Elizabeth Taylor. One of the consultants to the show, Rabbi Harold Schulweis, advised the producer, Matthew Carlson, that such a concept was “out of line, even for a cartoon.”

Carlson is a former Catholic seminary student and one of his advisers is Father Bud Keiser, a priest who loved “Nothing Sacred.” There was no report that Father Keiser objected the way the rabbi did to the upcoming episode.

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