Prime’s ‘The Baxters’: Roma Downey & Karen Kingsbury Talk

Prime’s ‘The Baxters’: Roma Downey & Karen Kingsbury Talk March 24, 2024

On March 28, the 10-episode first season of The Baxters comes to Prime Video. It marks Roma Downey’s first role since she played the Virgin Mary in The Bible series, which she co-produced with husband Mark Burnett.

She’s still playing a mother, but, this time, of a family striving imperfectly for holiness.

UPDATE 03/28/2024: All three seasons of The Baxters are now available to stream.

I talked to Downey, and to author Karen Kingsbury, who wrote the books the series is based on. If you want to skip ahead, that interview is embedded at the bottom of this post.

What Is The Baxters About?

In the world of Christian fiction, Karen Kingsbury is a star, with almost three dozen books in the universe of the Baxter family alone, along with other book series and standalone novels.

The Baxters books follow the saga of a large Midwestern clan, facing trials and tribulations with the help of their faith.

Downey — who’s an executive producer and plays the Baxter matriarch — has long held an option on The Baxters novels. But, it’s taken her longer than she might have expected to get it in front of audiences.

Filmed in 2018, the series was originally intended to stream on the platform of Downey’s LightWorkers Media. But, then came a corporate shuffle.

From Deadline.com:

Prime Video has picked up the family drama series The Baxters, from LightWorkers Media, the faith and family-focused company founded by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey which is owned by Amazon MGM Studios through Amazon’s acquisition of LightWorkers parent MGM.

Along with Downey as Elizabeth Baxter, Ted McGinley co-stars as patriarch John. Downey’s daughter Reilly Anspaugh plays one of the couple’s five adult children. Also starring are Ali Cobrin, Masey McLain, Josh Plasse, Cassidy Gifford (daughter of Downey’s friend Kathie Lee Gifford, who also guest-stars), Emily Peterson and Brandon Hirsch.

Also, Kingsbury Brings a Book to the Big Screen

Some of Kingsbury’s books were previously adapted into movies for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

The author has also created her own Karen Kingsbury Productions, and its first adaptation of one of her books, Someone Like You, hits theaters in the U.S. and Canada on April 2.

Filmed in and around Nashville, Tennessee, the story centers on a man who loses his fiancée, who was conceived via IVF. He then sets out on a quest to find her long-lost sibling, who was given as an embryo to another couple.

Talking to Downey and Kingsbury About The Baxters

Recently, I talked to both Downey and Kingsbury. As I said above, the full interview video is posted below, but here are a few highlights.

Premiering The Baxters on Holy Thursday

Downey: Mark and I had The Bible back at Easter. Easter is a time and our church and all the denominations of our churches, that is a time of hope. It’s a time of renewal. It’s a time of invitation to return home. And I feel that thematically, The Baxters lends itself well to this season.

So we’re grateful to Prime for putting it up. It goes up on Holy Thursday, and then we’ll live there and be available.

Having Themes That Mirror Reality

Downey: It’s not pious pure people living perfect lives. These are real people going through painful experiences. And the themes are edgy enough, but it’s just the sort of loving way that they’re presented that we get to see a family that comes together.

We get to see a family that prays together and the name of Jesus. We don’t get to see that much on television. We don’t get to see a family going to church together on television.

Kingsbury’s Catholic Roots

Kingsbury: I have many Catholic readers, and I think what draws people of faith, I mean, we have Jesus in common, so there’s that. But I think family is also a big common denominator in my books and certainly in The Baxters.

So The Baxters will be on Prime Video on March 28th, and the whole world is going to find out about this family. And really, I grew up in a Catholic family, so it makes sense that you would lean in and say, OK, now how real is this? And what you’re going to find, the Baxters are very real.

And without further ado, the star and the author speak:

Image: Prime Video

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About Kate O'Hare
Based in Los Angeles, Kate O'Hare is a veteran entertainment journalist, Social Media Content Manager for Family Theater Productions and a rookie screenwriter. You can read more about the author here.
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