“The Bible” Miniseries Posts Incredible Nielsen Ratings w/ Premiere on the History Channel
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" debut beat out the Sunday night competition on every other network. "The Bible" premier was also TVs most-watched telecast of the year.
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Roma Downey, Monica from "Touched by an Angel", and husband/"Survivor" and "Voice" producer Mark Burnett created and produced the show. Downey also plays Mary, mother of Jesus.
When Downey suggested the idea of making a miniseries based on the Bible to her husband over tea 4 years, she noticed Burnett seemed a little shocked.
"Momentarily, I think he thought I'd lost my mind," Downey said of the day she suggested the idea. "He went out on his bicycle and he prayed on it and he came back and said, 'You know what, I think it's a good idea. I think we should do it together.' We shook hands and haven't looked back."
Burnett 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."
With the first episode under their belt, critics are claiming the show is too breezy, casually passing through stories that viewers without a Bible-background may not understand. Essentially, highly rated television doesn't always translate to informative Christian content.
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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