After the massive success of “The Bible,” the History channel miniseries produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, NBC has decided to get in on the action and officially ordered “A.D.,” a 12-episode sequel of sorts to the self-explanatory first chapter, to premiere on the network in 2015.
“Last year when Mark Burnett was launching ‘The Bible’ on cable, I told him, without hesitation, that if he wanted to tell more of the story, we’d love to do it at NBC,” NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt says in a press release. “We are firmly in the ‘event’ business and nothing has more event potential than ‘A.D.’ as it continues immediately after the ‘The Bible’ ended. The heft of a broadcast network, combined with the promotional arms of NBCUniversal and Comcast, will push this miniseries to a mass audience. We value our relationship with Mark and Roma and know that no one could bring this story to life better than them.”
Says NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, “You might think the story is over at the Crucifixion, but as most of the world knows, that was only the beginning. Everyone’s lives were completely altered in an instant and the immediate aftermath of Christ’s death had an impact on his disciples, his mother Mary, and key political and religious leaders of the time. In the first episode alone you see the last moments of the Crucifixion, Judas taking his own life after betraying Christ, Peter denying Jesus three times, and then the miracle of the Resurrection. We feel so fortunate to be in the hands of Mark and Roma, who have proven that the greatest story ever told is still just that.”
Burnett and Downey say they hope to make “A.D.” an “epic global television event,” which seems quite likely. The final installment of “The Bible,” which aired on History on Easter Sunday of 2013, beat cable smash “The Walking Dead” with 11.7 million viewers tuning in.