"The Bible" on the History Channel is Serving the Greater Good?
I've held my tongue long enough. It's time for me to weigh in on the History Channel series The Bible. Critics across the country panned the first two episodes for being too fast-paced, breezing through important details of the Old Testament, while the general public, in sharp opposition, gave the History Channel its highest ratings ever.
While network television executives struggle to find shows that will move the Nielsen ratings needle, The History Channel recorded some, well, historical numbers. Over two broadcasts, The History Channel's The Bible averaged 14.8 million viewers, 5 million adults 18-49 and 5.6 million adults 25-54. In the 8-10pm premiere 13.1 million viewers watched The Bible, including 4.6 million adults 25-54.
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What all this means is The Bible is the most watched cable show of the year, posting viewer numbers that make network honchos green with envy. Think about it this way, NBC, a network powerhouse, has failed in the last month to produce a show that comes anywhere close to "The Bible" in viewership. This fact validates the History Channel's decision to run the controversial miniseries.
Now, if you've read some of my past posts you know I can be a bit caustic in my analysis of cultural or entertainment topics. I can't help it. It's who I am. I see the success of "The Bible" differently than most in the media. I view "The Bible's" ratings success as a call by the general public for more substantive content. In other words, viewers want less trashy reality television and more shows with an inspirational, positive message that's actually about something of importance. America is a Christian society and the laws and tenants we adhere to come from the pages of the bible. So it shouldn't be a surprise "The Bible" performed so well. It is after all the best-selling book in history. And with Hollywood's penchant for mimicking successful shows, we're undoubtedly in for a slew of knockoffs attempting to capitalize on the success of "The Bible."
And that, in my opinion, is a good thing. Because I'd rather have television executives committing resources to tell the stories of the bible than spewing out more mind-numbing, financially cheap, morally bankrupt, insipid reality shows that tears down our culture and negatively influence younger generations.
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