Controversial new US drama The Book Of Daniel, starring actor Aidan Quinn as a pill-popping Episcopal priest, has been cancelled.

The show was a target for conservative religious groups who were upset that the main character, FATHER DANIEL WEBSTER, conducted regular chats with JESUS as he popped painkillers.

The show also features storylines dealing with drug dealing, alcoholism and homosexuality, which also outraged religious groups, who petitioned to get the show cancelled.

A television station in Indiana had to post security outside their studios after receiving death threats for airing the controversial religious drama.

Friday's installment of the show came in a distant third in its time slot and US NBC network executives decided to pull the show.

The show had filmed eight episodes but no new episodes are scheduled to air and will be replaced by coverage of the Winter Olympics.