Television producer Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey, have teamed to create a new 10-hour miniseries titled “The Bible” that will air next month on The History Channel.
The miniseries will debut March 3 and will air for five consecutive Sundays, concluding Easter Sunday.
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Burnett, an Emmy Award winner best known for creating a number of reality shows, including “The Apprentice,” “Survivor,” “Shark Tank,” and “The Voice,” said the forthcoming miniseries is the most important work he’s done to date.
“We completely believe in the Bible, but beyond that, it's the most important book in history. It's the foundation of our society and our laws and has created so much art through the centuries,” he said. “No one has ever done a series that took it from Genesis through Revelation. We're just so humbled and privileged that we got the chance to make this for television globally.”
He and Downey, a Golden Globe winner, hope the miniseries will encourage viewers to rediscover the Bible.
Downey called the three-and-a-half year effort “a passionate project.”
“There’s been nothing greater for us. It’s deepened our love, marriage, and our faith,” she said.
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While Burnett is famous as a television producer, “The Bible” marks his first foray into a scripted series. The production, which was shot in Morocco, features a number of accomplished film, stage, and television actors.
Evangelical Christians are already praising the film.
While film and television may not be an industry synonymous with religion and faith, Burnett said they can definitely be inspirational vehicles.
“We've met so many people who have made their introduction to faith from movies. We thought it was time for a visual updating that can be used globally to attract people to the word of God,” he said.
While Hollywood has been accused of being hostile toward Christianity, Burnett said there are a number of Christians in entertainment, and even people who don't actively practice a religion, who see the Bible as an important book worthy of examination.
“Six billion Bibles have been purchased worldwide. It is a story that permeates the world and needs to be told over and over, and we’ve done it in an epic way,” he said.
The production features special effects depicting miracles such as Moses parting the Red Sea, Jesus walking on water, and Daniel with the lions. Burnett said the goal of not only the special effects but the music was to help create a work that will still be popular decades later.
“If you're going to step up and make a 10-hour series on the Bible, it needs to be able to go around the world and stand the test of time for the next 50 years. Just as we are still watching ‘The Ten Commandments’ on television, hopefully people will still be watching this in 50 years’ time,” Burnett said.
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