“The Bible” Miniseries on History Channel Recap
The first episode of History Channel's, "The Bible" miniseries aired Sunday, March 3rd 2013. The 10-hour docudrama will wrap its final episode on Easter, March 31st and will cover books Genesis to Revelation.
Roma Downey, Monica from "Touched by an Angel", and husband/"Survivor" and "The Voice" producer Mark Burnett created and produced the show. Downey also plays Mary, mother of Jesus.
Though the premiere has been dragged through the mud with terrible critical reception, the Nielsen ratings were through the roof. The two-hour debut, "In The Beginning," scored 13.1 million viewers, with a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49. "The Bible" premiere was also TVs most-watched telecast of the year.
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Spending half of 2012 Morocco overlooking the production, Downey never considered herself when casting the main characters. When the team couldn't find a suitable actress to play "Mary," Downey obliged, to the benefit of not only the project, but also the character.
Most of the cast is not even based in America. Portuguese heartthrob Diogo Morgado plays Jesus Christ, while most of the other actors are more recognizable in the U.K.
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 a healthy 5.6 million viewers.
But how will the heavenly success of "The Bible" impact the immediate future of television? One of History Channel's previous endeavors, "Hatfields and McCoys" was another hugely successful, already spawning a copycat from NBC. Will other networks start to develop their own versions of a Bible picture book series? Or will the demand inspire less shows about religion, and more about religious believers?
Producer Mark Burnett really intended the show to help educate a generation of young people who aren't familiar with the Bible.
"In school, you have to know a certain amount of Shakespeare, but no Bible. So there's got to be a way to look at it from a pure literature point of view. If it wasn't for the Bible, arguably Shakespeare wouldn't have written those stories."
All Burnett and Downey claim to hope for is to provoke viewers to study scripture for themselves. Though, "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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