'The Bible' premieres on History to record numbers
Sunday night, TV viewers turned out in record numbers for the first episode of the new drama series The Bible, an adaptation created by "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett and "Touched by an Angel" star Roma Downey. The epic five-week, 10-hour television mini-series, which runs on the History channel, retells events from the Bible—from Genesis to Revelation—through live action and cutting-edge computer-generated imagery. The producers have promised that the series will be faithful to the Scripture, while offering new insight into famous scenes and iconic characters.
"In terms of importance, nothing we've ever done, not Touched By An Angel, not Survivor, not The Voice, not The Apprentice, none of this could possibly compare to The Bible," Burnett says. "This is not a TV show to us. Its images, sound and sacred text that people will still watch, way after our grandchildren are old people."
Over two telecasts on premiere night, The Bible averaged nearly 15 million viewers. Leading into the premiere, History.com had it best day ever in its history, and The Bible trended as No. 1 on Twitter.
"We could not be more thrilled with this out of the gate success of The Bible on History," Downey says. "The world is watching right now and we are incredibly humbled by the reaction to the series. This No. 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 the 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."
"We've been working on this project for the past four years now," adds Burnett, "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."
The final episode, which airs Easter Sunday (March 31), will feature the death and resurrection of Jesus.
To tie-in with the project, Burnett and Downey have published two novels and a devotional:
A Story of God and All of Us: A Novel Based on the Epic TV Miniseries
A Story of God and All of Us: Young Readers Edition
A Story of God and All of Us Reflections: 100 Daily Inspirations Based on the Epic TV Miniseries
Watch a clip from behind-the-scenes below: