The headlines proclaimed an epic showdown: Jesus versus the zombies. This wasn’t an imaginative retelling of a familiar story (an increasingly popular subgenre of historical fiction). Rather, this was a battle for cable TV ratings, pitting “The Bible” miniseries on the History channel against AMC’s zombie hit “The Walking Dead”. When their season finales aired head-to-head on Easter Sunday, “The Bible” edged its macabre competitor 12.32 million to 12.29 million.
By now, Hollywood surely gets that there is an enthusiastic audience for programming with a Christian message. Still, adapting the whole Bible for TV — as opposed to one particular book of Scripture — was an ambitious, big-budget endeavour. So the executive producers, reality TV mastermind Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey of "Touched by An Angel" fame, embarked on a major publicity tour to preview the project to the media and church communities. Salt + Light's Kris Dmytrenko interviewed the duo when they came to Toronto.
Though the finale has aired, Burnett and Downey insist it’s only the beginning for "The Bible". A Spanish version and a theatrical cut are planned and DVD sales are underway.
You can watch our interview with the makers of "The Bible" series on tonight’s new episode of Catholic Focus
. The program, which debuts the new look for S+L's long-running current affairs show, airs at 7:00 and 11:00 pm ET/8:00 pm PT, repeating at the same times this Saturday.
Photo credit: A+E Networks, LLC/Joe Alblas