"The Bible" is getting a sequel.
Yes, you read that correctly. Mark Burnett, the Emmy-winning producer of "The Voice" and Survivor," and wife and actress Roma Downey are developing a follow-up project for their hit HISTORY channel miniseries "The Bible," which starred Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado as Jesus.
No air date or cast members have been announced for the new installment, which is tentatively titled "A.D.: Beyond The Bible." Instead of continuing to air on cable, it will be broadcast on NBC, the network announced in a statement on July 1. "A.D.: Beyond The Bible" "begins in the dark days after Jesus' betrayal and death," it said.
"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," the statement added.
Downey played Mary, mother of Jesus, in "The Bible" miniseries, which aired earlier this year. Its finale in April was watched by more than 11.7 million viewers and earned a rating of 3.0 among adults between ages 18 and 49. When compared to other cable shows, "The Bible" was topped only by AMC's "The Walking Dead" and ranked above "Game of Thrones" and "The Real Housewives of Atlanta."
"We made this for a 2013 audience. It is a video generation. People are receiving information through moving pictures and so we know, as the parents of teenagers, that this is a way to reach a whole new audience with these great stories," Downey told OTRC.com in March.
"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," NBC quoted Downey and Burnett as saying in the network's statement. "It's a story that changed the world. We look forward to making this an enormous television event on NBC."
"I followed the development process of 'The Bible' closely with Mark and knew that the story was far from over after Christ's Crucifixion," said Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. "In fact, what happened in the aftermath -- which is essentially the beginning of Christianity -- is utterly fascinating."
WATCH FULL episodes of "The Bible" on YouTube (for $1.99 an episode).
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