Skip to comments.Success of 'The Bible' Series Makes History Channel Top Cable Network
Posted on 04/04/2013 10:55:28 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Mark Burnett's "The Bible" miniseries concluded this past Sunday with strong ratings, attracting 11.7 million viewers, 14 percent higher than its previous week of 10.3 million viewers.
"The Bible" miniseries' great success resulted in the History Channel being the top cable network, both in total viewership and with adults ages 25 to 54, for the month of March.
The episode's finale, which featured Jesus' crucifixion, death, and resurrection aptly on March 31, Easter Sunday, received 3.8 million viewers among adults ages 18 to 49 and 4.6 million viewers among adults ages 25 to 54, according to Nielsen ratings.
As Deadline Hollywood points out, these figures represent a 12 percent and 18 percent rise from last week's numbers, and they also near the miniseries' premiere episode, which had record breaking ratings numbering over 13 million.
According to USA Today, the second half of Sunday's two-hour "The Bible" finale, which featured the resurrection of Jesus, resulted in a slight jump in ratings, temporarily boosting them from 11.7 million to 12.33 million during the last 60 minutes of the program.
ABC's airing of the classic 1956 film "The Ten Commandments," starring actor Charlton Heston, also managed to wrangle in 6 million viewers on Saturday evening.
Hollywood producers are reportedly responding to America's interest in faith-themed programs.
The Motion Picture Corporation of America is reportedly producing a $20 million, six-hour miniseries serving as a spinoff of "The Bible," titled "Jesus of Nazareth."
"We believe the audience continues to have a hunger for life- and faith-affirming films," Michael Landon Jr., a Christian producer and writer for "Jesus of Nazareth," told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview.
"The monumental success of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's 'The Bible' just underscores that," Landon added.
"Jesus of Nazareth" will also be co-written by screenwriter Brian Bird, who worked for five seasons on the hit show "Touched by an Angel."
"The Bible," which was produced by Mark Burnett of "Survivor" and wife Roma Downey of "Touched by an Angel," first broke television program records on March 3, when it attracted over 13 million viewers, thus making it the number one scripted program on television for Sunday night, as well as the most watched entertainment television show for 2013.
I saw the DVD series for this today at Walmart.
Well, that was quick...
It’s only a surprise to the weirdos in Hollywood.
Aside from the religious aspects, The Bible series was also very good history. For example, every other film I’ve seen on Jesus ended with his crucifiction or resurrection. This one told what came after, what the apostles did and what happened to them. I found that fascinating, especially John. I didn’t know he survived a poisoning and was exiled and then wrote Revelation.
The historical connection (at least in my view) was never made between the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Roman Empire. Their power started to crumble as people started to say, I kneel before God, I need not kneel before you. Kill me if you want, I will not obey. Empires and power structures just can’t take that.
When I say the connection was never made, I mean in the other films I’ve seen. I liked the Bible series because it did make that connection.
Already bought the DVD series!
RE: John the Apostle
Well, According to Tertullian (in The Prescription of Heretics) John was banished (presumably to Patmos) after being plunged into boiling oil in Rome and suffering nothing from it. It is said that all in the entire Colosseum audience were converted to Christianity upon witnessing this miracle. This event would have occurred during the reign of Domitian, a Roman emperor who was known for his persecution of Christians in the late 1st century.
No kidding! See that’s the stuff I love, the little details that complete the story.
I agree. The post-resurrection content was the best I’ve seen. It was the beginning of Christianity. Only God could have conveyed his teaching to so many, so quickly with so few. “as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world”. Ya gotta believe.
RE: The historical connection (at least in my view) was never made between the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Roman Empire.
Rome fells hundreds of years later after John died.
Constantine the Emperor converted to Christianity ( and most of Rome with him ). In 313 Constantine issued the “Edict of Milan,” which commanded official toleration of Christianity and other religions.
I’d suggest the History Channel to continue with the HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY. Now, that would be a worthwhile project.
What the series showed of the early church was good, too bad they didn’t show more. There was a movie years ago (I believe called Peter and Paul—I believe it had Anthony Hopkins in it) that did a nice job of showing the lives of these two early brethren. Their testimony, the testimony of the early believers was critical to the Lord’s work in redeeming for Himself a people.
The “radical” change that took place in the “Spirit-filled” early church was direct evidence in support of the bodily resurrection of the Lord. That these 11 who were cowering one minute and out in the streets preaching openly the next, “turned the world upside down” and you read in Acts that “the Lord added daily to the church those that were being saved.”
Christians today (and I count myself among them) would do well to pray that the Lord restore the joy of His salvation within us, that we might grow in faith, so that His Gospel would have the same kind of impact on our times.
Could be a good thing or could be a bad thing, depending on the content and how it tracks the Bible. Although I have recorded it, I have yet to see any segment.
Considering that the History Channel trots out left leaning revisionist history, I was amazed it aired this great series.
Indeed it would, but I am not holding my breath. The HISTORY/Hitler Channel has a notorious "history", along with NatGeo Channel, of presenting bunches of episodes about Christianity presented from "The Jesus Seminar" POV over the last decade. If not familiar, do a Wiki search on "TJS". It boils down to a group of theologians, going back to the 1980s, who decided that Jesus was not divine.
The HISTORY/Hitler Channel has done many excellent and interesting episodes on Hitler, but where oh where are the series on Stalin, Chairman Mao, and everything commie? I would very much like to see a series done from the 1997 book, The Black Book of Communism.
Right you are ... "Peter and Paul", 1981. A well done TV film. Running time at 3+ hours. Saw it several months back on 1 of the religious channels. Highly recommend it.
Costco’s selling the box for about $40, I think it was BluRay.
Also, at Sam’s, “The Ten Commandments” BluRay/DVD combo was $2 more than the DVD package by itself.
Could someone answer me couple quick questions, I googled but was unable to find answer.
Is Roma Downey pro life? Does she support Gay marriage? Does she vote Democrat?
Any one of those that is answered wrong, is all I would need to know
I know touched by a angel series was not Christian, to weird, could not watch it.
I did see the entire cast on Larry King years and years ago, the producer claimed to be a Christian, then went on to say...am not one of those right wingers
Highway To Heaven was a great show, but Touched by an Angel was just to liberal and they actually got into the ocult, so I could not watch it
I would save myself the bother of watching if I knew the answer to the 3 questions, gay marriage, abortion and do they vote democrat
Referring to Obama as a fellow Christian may have been enough for me to tune out now
She is married to television producer/entrepreneur Mark Burnett. Her only child, Reilly Marie Downey Anspaugh, is from her previous marriage to director David Anspaugh.
Reilly is named after her grandmother, Maureen O’Reilly Downey. On Thanksgiving Day 2006, Burnett proposed to Downey during a family vacation in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.
They wed on 28 April 2007 in their Malibu home. Her Touched By An Angel co-star, Della Reese, officiated at the wedding.
Downey is a “Smile Ambassador” for the non-profit organization Operation Smile which provides surgeries for children around the world who were born with severe cleft lip and palate.
She supported the unsuccessful candidacy of Martin McGuinness for President of Ireland in 2011.
Downey is a devout Roman Catholic.[
On April 18, 2009, Downey and Burnett delivered the keynote address and accepted an honorary doctorate of law at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management commencement ceremony.
Downey graduated from the University of Santa Monica with a master’s degree in spiritual psychology.
COMMENT: You might want to look at the politics and policies of the candidate she supported in Ireland to see if she is a devout Catholic or not.
I remember the mini series Peter and Paul, yes with Anthony Hopkins as Paul, was FABULOUS, I think James Farantino may have played Peter, was excellent...NBC would never show such a thing again
The Bible was great and the Vikings is a hit as well. One of the characters is a priest taken as a slave, it’s interesting to watch him little by little introduce Christianity to his captors.
Thanks for link and info, I was mistaken about James Farentino as Peter, wrong movie, that was Jesus of Nazareth very good, but yes Peter and Paul was great, Anthony Hopkins best role ever
I was disappointed in Touched by a Angel, was not bad the first year or so, then they got into ocult stuff imho, was not impressed by producers ertc that shatred so called faith on Larry King
I am not Catholic, but only Christian, have heard many Catholic Democrats refer to themselves as Devout, to me it boils down to are they really pro life, meaning do they vote what they say they believe.
To be a Democrat means you are OK with the removal of God/Christ from public square, are fine with abortion gay marriage etc
Google of “Roma Downey abortion views” brings up nothing, same on gay marriage