NBC has ordered the much-anticipated sequel to the History Channel’s blockbuster miniseries “The Bible,” the network announced Monday. The project will be produced by husband and wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the people behind last year’s “The Bible” series.
The next series will focus on biblical events beginning after Jesus’ Crucifixion, TV Guide reported. In a statement, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said he had been hoping to lock down the miniseries for nearly a year. He said that within 24 hours of watching “The Bible” he was eager to arrange a follow up project with Burnett and Downey.
"I followed the development process of ‘The Bible’ closely with Mark and knew that the story was far from over after Christ's Crucifixion," Greenblatt said. "In fact, what happened in the aftermath — which is essentially the beginning of Christianity — is utterly fascinating. The day after ‘The Bible’ premiered, I told Mark we were on board with no hesitation for the follow-up miniseries. This will be attention-getting in every way, and we're proud to continue our association with Mark."
A press release from NBC teased the forthcoming miniseries with this synopsis: “A perfect storm brews in the Holy Land, fueled by social injustice, Roman military oppression and religious unrest. High priests and the Herod dynasty vie for power. Zealot revolutionaries turn to violence to regain what they believe is their promised land. And in the face of terrible odds and brutal persecution, the small band of Jesus' disciples stand against the combined might of Rome and their own local authorities.”
After the news was announced, Burnett and Downey issued a statement promising that the upcoming project would be no less ambitious. "Our new series, ‘A.D.: Beyond the Bible,’ is another massive project and a major commitment, but it's a story that has to be told. It's a story that changed the world. We look forward to making this an enormous television event on NBC."
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According to Inside TV, “The Bible” made History Channel records in 2013 when its premiere pulled in 13 million viewers. It is also reportedly the highest-selling DVD miniseries of all time.
“We could not be more thrilled with this out of the gate success,” Downey and Burnett said in a statement shortly after the initial miniseries’ debut. “The world is watching right now and we are incredibly humbled by the reaction to the series. This No. 1 series is a tribute to all those who have helped us to spread the Word. Ultimately ‘The Bible’ will be seen and felt by billions around the globe. … Today, more people are discussing God’s chosen people — Moses and Abraham — in one day than ever before.”