“The Bible” Miniseries on History Channel & Its Impact on TV
The first episode of History Channel's, "The Bible" miniseries aired Sunday, March 3rd 2013. Though the show is receiving terrible reviews from critics across the country, "In The Beginning" posted some incredible Nielsen ratings. The two-hour premiere attracted 13.1 million viewers, with a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49. According to Entertainment Weekly, "The Bible" premier was also TVs most-watched telecast of the year.
Though the show's first episode didn't do as well as AMC's juggernaut The Walking Dead in the 18-49 demographic, which determines advertising rates, it still attracted 5.6 million viewers.
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How will the heavenly success of "The Bible" impact television? History Channel's previous endeavor "Hatfields and McCoys" was also hugely successful, and has already spawned a copycat from NBC. Will other networks start to develop there own version of a Bible picture book series? Or will the demand inspire less shows about religion, and more about religious believers?
Instead of catering to politically correct representations of the Bible, or Christians for that matter, why not create a show that portrays "believers" as complicated human beings, just as any show would treat their characters. Create a series that doesn't oversimplify psychology with worn out clichés and stereotypes of those that go to church or like Christian rock. Instead have a show with "characters of faith" that are sometimes good, sometimes bad. Have characters whose religious beliefs are a significant part of them but doesn't necessarily make them exemplary or terrible.
Burnett and Downey wanted viewers to study scripture.
"The Bible" miniseries may not have enough to capture the full measure of God's word, it's apparently more than capable of selling some ad space.
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