Roma Downey on New Series ‘The Baxters,’ Faith Entertainment

Roma Downey on New Series ‘The Baxters,’ Faith Entertainment March 25, 2024

On March 28, the highly-anticipated new series “The Baxters” premieres on Prime Video, to the delight of millions of fans of the Karen Kingsbury book series. At the center of the show is actress-producer-author Roma Downey (“The Bible,” “Touched by an Angel”), who not only stars as the family matriarch, Elizabeth Baxter, but also serves as an executive producer. Joining her in the saga is Ted McGinley (“God’s Not Dead,” “Do You Believe?”) following the lives of Elizabeth and John Baxter and their five adult children through trials, tribulations, and moments of profound faith.

Downey, a modern pioneer of a renaissance in faith-based entertainment, pursued the project for years and is enthusiastic about bringing “The Baxters” to life. “I began my Baxter journey as a fan of the books,” she said. “I couldn’t put them down.” She was drawn to the family and their approach to problems and issues that many families face, but from a strong background of faith. That’s not to say they always make the right choices, but their love for each other is evident.

“These are not pious people, these are not perfect people,” she explained. “This is a family of faith…they’re meeting challenges, and it gets kind of messy around the edges, but they model love, and they support each other.”

To that end, Downey revealed that the first season of “The Baxters” is titled the “Redemption Season,” hinting at the emotional journey that lies ahead. “Elizabeth Baxter at her heart is a prayer warrior,” Downey she said. “It’s a great ‘Hope Opera’,” she added, promising audiences an uplifting and binge-worthy viewing experience.

Joining Downey and McGinley in the cast are talented actors such as Ali Cobrin, Brandon Hirsch, Masey McLain, Cassidy Gifford, and Josh Plasse, among others. Additionally, guest stars including Kathie Lee Gifford and Jake Allyn are set to make appearances throughout the season.

Addressing the significance of representing religious families in entertainment, Downey emphasized the importance of authenticity and relatability in storytelling. “It’s not preachy,” she asserted. “It’s just natural storytelling.”

During her years on her hit series “Touched by an Angel,” Downey was befriended and mentored by her co-star Della Reese, a relationship that changed her life. Now she finds herself in a similar mentoring situation, even including her daughter Riley, who appears in the series. Everyone, she says, is an important part of the production.

“As the elder on the set, I wanted to model that for them, that’s how we are to treat everybody,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you were craft service, or you were the guest star, everybody was treated with love. Everybody was treated with respect. And that’s the kind of set we ran and that’s the kind of business we run. That’s the kind of work that we want to do and want to be in. I hope they all left encouraged.”

Thirty years after the debut of “Angel” and as faith in entertainment becomes more even prominent, Downey is thrilled to see the success of other films such as “Jesus Revolution,” “A Wing and a Prayer” and “Sound of Freedom” and series such as “The Chosen” and “The Baxters.”

“Della really emboldened me and my team to really step out and step up, and I think we’re seeing that in the industry now that with how success sort of opens doors, and with the success of some of these big faith projects this year,” she said. “These movies that are opening up, they’re really doing well, which opens the doors for the next wave, and so on.”

With “The Baxters,” Roma Downey invites audiences on a poignant and uplifting journey, filled with love, faith, and redemption. As the series makes its debut on Prime Video this week, viewers can expect to be captivated by the timeless themes and compelling characters that have made the Baxter family a beloved fixture in literature.

“The Baxters” premieres on Prime Video on March 28. Watch the interview with Roma Downey and DeWayne Hamby below.

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