Image: Bill O’Reilly’s ‘Killing Jesus’ Being Adapted by Nat Geo; Third in Fox News Star’s Series

Bill O’Reilly’s ‘Killing Jesus’ Being Adapted by Nat Geo; Third in Fox News Star’s Series

Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 06:18 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Bill O'Reilly's soon-to-be-released book, "Killing Jesus: A History," woll be adapted by the National Geographic Channel, the network announced on Monday.

The decision marks the third collaboration among Nat Geo, which is owned primarily by Fox News' parent company News Corp.; the popular Fox News host; and Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

"This is the big one," O'Reilly told the publication. "We really like working with Nat Geo and Scott Free because the B.S. component is very small. These guys are right on my wavelength. We get a good screenplay, we shoot it, and we put it on."

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O'Reilly's "Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever," was narrated by actor Tom Hanks and starred Billy Campbell as the 16th president and Jesse Johnson as John Wilkes Booth. The docudrama aired in February and reportedly brought in 3.4 million viewers for Nat Geo, a record for the cable network.

Production of O'Reilly's "Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot" is currently in the works at Nat Geo.

Both "Killing Lincoln" and "Killing Kennedy" are on the New York Times Best-Sellers List, the former for 76 weeks and currently No. 14 and the latter for 24 weeks and No. 7 as of Tuesday.

All three books were co-written by O'Reilly's literary partner Martin Dugard, who, O'Reilly says, is primarily responsible for providing their research content, while he does the writing.

In "Killing Jesus" — being published by Henry Holt and Co. with a scheduled Sept. 24 release — O'Reilly recounts the life and times of Jesus Christ, examining both the political and historical aspects that defined his brief existence and the Christian legacy he left behind.

Nat Geo's announcement comes as the History Channel's religion-themed miniseries "The Bible" has been pulling in a reported 10 million-plus viewers every Sunday it has aired.

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In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Nat Geo President Howard Owens praised O'Reilly's collaborative works: "I think the popularity of Bill's franchise speaks about how O'Reilly and Dugard are turning the notch up at every possible opportunity with these new accounts of history."

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"'Killing Lincoln' proved our audience's response to factual drama," said Owens. "The audacity of these books is in the way Bill thinks and tells a story. We think it fits really well with the history of the Bible, and we've had a lot of success in the religious genre."

A production schedule for "Killing Jesus" hasn't been announced.

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