“The Bible” Sequel Coming to NBC

From the New York Times: 

In an indication of the shifting center of power in television, a broadcast network, NBC, has stepped up to buy the sequel to a hit cable mini-series, “The Bible,” which appeared on the History Channel.

The follow-up series, “A.D.: Beyond the Bible,” will trace the early history of Christianity and again be supervised by the producer Mark Burnett, in partnership with his wife, the actress Roma Downey, NBC announced on Monday.

“The Bible” was the top-rated new series of the year on cable. Its premiere, in March, reached 13 million viewers and its finale attracted 11.7 million, both enormous totals for cable television — or broadcast television, for that matter. In addition, the DVD version of the 10-hour series, which went on sale three months ago, has topped one million in sales, the biggest result for a TV series in five years, NBC said in its announcement of the acquisition…

…The new series will center on the work of the apostles and early Christians in trying to survive Roman oppression in the years after the crucifixion.

Mr. Burnett has been television’s most successful creator and producer of reality television shows, with current hits on three networks, “Survivor” on CBS, “Shark Tank” on ABC and the top-rated entry, “The Voice” on NBC.

“The Voice” has been critical to NBC in the last three years, and Bob Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC Entertainment, said in a statement that he had spoken to Mr. Burnett the day after the premiere of “The Bible” to express interest in a sequel.

“I followed the development process of ‘The Bible’ closely with Mark and knew that the story was far from over after Christ’s crucifixion,” Mr. Greeenblatt said in his statement. “In fact, what happened in the aftermath — which is essentially the beginning of Christianity — is utterly fascinating.”


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