The Bible

Behind-the-Scenes; Mark Burnett and Roma Downey with the cast and crew on set at the Ouarzazate Museum location. (Joe Alblas / History Channel / March 12, 2012)

The networks might be struggling on Sunday nights but not basic cable's the History Channel. The miniseries beat everything in sight Sunday night with record ratings for "The Bible."

I think this quote from executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett might be a little over the top: "Today, more people are discussing God's chosen people -- Moses and Abraham -- in one day than ever before," Downey and Burnett are quoted as saying in a History Channel statement.  

Still, you have to be impressed by the numbers.

Here's the release:

Over two telecasts on premiere night, 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 total viewers flocked to THE BIBLE, including 4.6 million Adults 25-54. THE BIBLE is the #1 cable entertainment telecast of the year. Leading into the premiere HISTORY.com had it best day ever in its history, and THE BIBLE trended as #1 on Twitter with celebrities and influencers tweeting their own personal tune-in messages.

Says Nancy Dubuc, President, Entertainment and Media, A+E Networks, “The success of THE BIBLE has catapulted HISTORY into one of the most powerful brands across media landscape and we could not be more thrilled and more proud. We are the #1 cable entertainment telecast of the year to date! Leading into the premiere we had the best day ever on History.com, and THE BIBLE trended #1 on Twitter. Clearly there is a nationwide groundswell that was waiting for this moment. We launched an incredible and coordinated campaign - HISTORY worked hand in hand with Roma and Mark and their talented team. An enormous debt of gratitude goes out to everyone and the amazing effort put forth to drive us to this amazing win.  Clearly the passion for this project has resonated with our viewers and across the nation. We are thrilled, and the story is only just beginning.”
 
“We could not be more thrilled with this out of the gate success of THE BIBLE on HISTORY,” said Executive Producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett.  "The world is watching right now and we are incredibly humbled by the reaction to the series. This #1 series is a tribute to all those who have helped us to spread the Word. Ultimately THE BIBLE will be seen and felt by billions around the globe.  We have to thank Nancy Dubuc and her HISTORY team for stepping up and joining us on this amazing journey – together we are now able to share this most sacred text that will continue to challenge and inspire.

“Today, more people are discussing God's chosen people - Moses and Abraham - in one day than ever before.  We’ve been working on this project for the past four years now, and are deeply honored to be given this once in a generation opportunity to breathe new visual life into the Bible’s profound stories.  The Bible gives meaning and purpose to billions of people around the world.  We believe the success of the series will spark the curiosity of billions more,” continued Roma and Mark.

THE BIBLE, premiering every Sunday on HISTORY over the next four Sundays, culminating on Easter,  was created and executive produced by renowned producer Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice, Shark Tank) and Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel). The series, a landmark television event, combines one of the greatest collections of stories ever assembled with live action and state-of-the-art CGI. The series is narrated by Emmy award-winning actor/vocalist Keith David (Mr & Mrs Smith; Platoon; Crash) and features a musical score by the world renowned Grammy and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer. In April, The Bible series will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD with hours of exclusive special features and extras making it a must-own for every home. A book series by Mark and Roma is currently available in stores.

Leading the outstanding international cast is Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress and series’ co-executive producer Roma Downey, who plays Mother Mary. Joining her are Portuguese TV star Diogo Morgado as Jesus, as well as an array of acclaimed UK-based actors including Sean Teale (Skins), David Rintoul (The Iron Lady, My Week with Marilyn), Amber Rose Revah (The Borgias), Peter Guinness (an accomplished long time film/theatre actor), Greg Hicks (one of the UK’s best-known Shakespearean actors), and Simon Kunz (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Parent Trap, Matchpoint).

From Genesis to Revelation, HISTORY will illuminate the Bible, re-telling the stories as they unfold and revealing new insights into these iconic characters in context of the Bible. The series will feature some of the most famous stories ever written from Noah’s Ark and the Exodus to Daniel in the Lion’s Den to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

THE BIBLE series is produced for HISTORY by Lightworkers Media and Hearst Entertainment & Syndication.  Executive Producers are Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Richard Bedser. Executive Producers for HISTORY are Dirk Hoogstra and Julian P. Hobbs. THE BIBLE is distributed by One Three Media, Inc.

About HISTORY®

HISTORY® is the leading destination for factual entertainment, including award-winning original series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. The network’s all-original programming slate, including scripted event programming,  features a roster of hits including American Pickers®, American Restoration™, Ax Men™, Ice Road Truckers®, Pawn Stars®, Swamp People® and Top Shot® as well as epic mini-series and specials such as the Emmy® Award-winning Hatfields & McCoys, Gettysburg, Vietnam in HD, America The Story of Us, and 102 Minutes That Changed America. The HISTORY website is the leading online resource for all things history, and in 2011, the United States Library of Congress selected HISTORY’s Civil War 150 site for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the American Civil War sesquicentennial.  www.history.com

 

About Roma Downey

A celebrated, Emmy-nominated actress Roma Downey is best  known for her nine seasons as the tender-hearted angel on the hit CBS show Touched by an Angel.  Roma starred in over 200 episodes and her work as the compassionate angel inspired millions of people around the world and earned Roma multiple best actress nominations for Emmy’s and Golden Globe awards.  Born in Ireland and classically trained in London, Ms. Downey has performed on stage with the famed Abbey Theatre Company and has appeared both on and off Broadway. She played the leading role of Jackie Kennedy Onassis in the Emmy award winning six hour miniseries for NBC called “A Woman Named Jackie."  Ms. Downey not only starred in, but executive produced seven television movies for The CBS network, among them "Borrowed Hearts" with Eric Mc Cormack and "Second Honeymoon" with Tim Matheson.  She is the executive producer of the children's DVD and book series "Little Angels" and its companion "Little Angels Storybook Bible".  Downey is currently  producing a ten hour miniseries, The Bible with her husband, Mark Burnett.  This is being produced under their company LightWorkers Media and is the first collaboration of this husband and wife team. Ms. Downey not only produced the series but stepped into  the role of Mary the Mother of Christ.  Ms. Downey and Mr. Burnett have co-authored a companion book to the series ‘A Story of God and all of Us.’ The book is to be published  this Spring by Faith Words.  For many years Ms Downey has been a spokesperson for "Operation Smile" a volunteer organization that brings free surgeries to children around the globe with facial deformities. She has travelled to third world and developing countries making fund raising films on their behalf.


About Mark Burnett

Four time Emmy Award winner Mark Burnett has produced over 1,200 hours of television programming which regularly airs in over 70 countries worldwide. His current network series include "Survivor" (CBS),  "The Voice" (NBC), "The Celebrity Apprentice" (NBC), and “Shark Tank” (ABC).  In last 12 months Burnett series have won their time slots on 5 nights of television in the same week.  Burnett is one of very few producers to have had a renewed series on each of the four major networks.  He also has a strong presence in award show franchises, having produced the "MTV Movie Awards" from 2007 to 2011, the annual “People’s Choice Awards” since 2010,  the "Video Game Awards" (Spike) and the 2011"Primetime Emmy Awards."  Burnett is currently producing and distributing ten hour miniseries on The Bible (with his wife Roma Downey - Star of Touched by an Angel) for air globally in Spring 2013.  Mr. Burnett has been named one of the world's most influential people by TIME Magazine and also listed as TV Guide’s most valuable player. He has won BRANDWEEK’S Marketer of the Year Award, The Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, the PGA Norman Lear Award and the prestigious ROSE D’OR FRAPA Format Award.  Burnett was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was honored in 2010 with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.  He served two elected terms on the Board of Directors for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles.