“The Bible” Comes Back to Life
It’s that time of year, the spiritually-envigorating time of Passover and Easter when Biblical movies proliferate on the small screen. This year, a five-part miniseries is airing in two-hour installments on the History Channel, aptly named, “The Bible”, and ranking as cable’s most-watched entertainment telecast this year.
Everyone knows that the Bible (the book) is the biggest bestseller in history, but producers Mark Burnett (Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice) and his wife, Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) cite modern-day Biblical illiteracy among young people as one of their primary motivations to make the series. When shopping for a network to take the series, everyone but the History Channel turned them down, as though there would be no viewing audience for such a project.
How to portray the parting of the Red Sea, or the relative cleanliness of ancient peoples, or whether Samson was a black man with dreadlocks, or if the principals all spoke with British accents is open to interpretation. But here’s a Hollywood power couple who are not ashamed to portray the greatest story ever told.
Airing on Sunday nights, the 8:00 to 10:00 pm time slot precludes the viewing by a whole host of evangelical Christians who are often in evening services for part of that time. Another large segment tuned in when “The Bible” was rebroadcast on Wednesday, 9:00 – 11:00 pm, “catapulting History into one of the most powerful brands across media landscape”, according to Nancy Dubuc, president of A&E Networks.
Two Sunday episodes down, and three more to go, airing Sundays (8:00 – 10:00 pm) and Wednesdays (9:00 – 11:00 pm) during March on the History Channel.
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