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NBC turns its attentions to Jesus Christ - for sequel to 'The Bible'

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Sequel to 10-part miniseries to follow footsteps of the top cable entertainment telecast of the year

NBC is turning its attentions to Jesus Christ -- to deliver it from its ratings slump. The network says it has bought the sequel to History's hit miniseries "The Bible" from Mark Burnett, the executive producer of "The Voice" and "Celebrity Apprentice."

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Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
7/2/2013 (7 years ago)

Published in TV

Keywords: The Bible, miniseries, telecast, pay TV

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Burnett says he was working on a sequel to the 10-part miniseries, that ranked as the top cable entertainment telecast of the year to date and helped make History the No. 1-ranked cable network for the month of March.

"I could spend the next 10 years just distributing the Bible series" and the movie version he's adapted, Burnett said. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said he followed closely the development of "The Bible" "and knew that the story was far from over after Christ's Crucifixion. In fact, what happened in the aftermath - which is essentially the beginning of Christianity - is utterly fascinating."

Greenblatt said he'd told Burnett after seeing "The Bible's" opening numbers that NBC was "on board with no hesitation for the follow-up miniseries."

"The Bible" opened with 13 million tuned in - about as many people as watched the opening of CBS' Stephen King project "Under the Dome" - before factoring in DVR viewing on subsequent days. For ratings-challenged NBC, it's manna from heaven. Only two shows on NBC clocked a bigger crowd than that during the recently concluded TV season: "Sunday Night Football" and both nights of "The Voice."

In its first week of home video release, The Bible was the top-selling miniseries of all time and the No. 1 ranked TV series on DVD and Blu-ray over the past five years - surpassing one million units sold in the past three months.

An unusual marketing campaign for "The Bible" was essential to its success. Part of the plan was screenings at mega-churches. TV critics, on the other hand, gave it a cold shoulder, calling it more action flick than spiritual journey like they meant it to sting.

Burnett told CBS Sunday Morning back around the time it launched that TV critics didn't matter on this one. "If the TV critics were so good, they've be making TV themselves, wouldn't they?"

The Bible sequel could conceivably attract an even bigger crowd than did the original, by virtue of moving to broadcast TV.

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