‘Bible’ Blockbuster: History Channel Gains Epic Ratings

Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013 01:00 PM

By Kenneth Hanner

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The ratings for History Channel’s “The Bible” are reaching epic proportions, with the first three parts of the five-part mini-series trouncing its competition.

Nielsen ratings show that Sunday’s third installment of “The Bible” bested anything produced by NBC and ABC for the entire week, The Washington Times reported.

The first three shows of the mini-series saw audiences of 13.1 million, 10.8 million, and 10.9 million, with the premiere being the highest-rated cable show of the year — with more viewers that week than normal ratings king, “American Idol.”

Counting repeats, the series has now reached 68 million viewers, in 18 showings on History and Lifetime channels, according to the website Multichannel News.

“It’s not as if ‘The Bible’ got any help from TV critics,” The Washington Times pointed out. “Its Metacritic scores averaged just 44, the low end of the ‘mixed reviews’ range as measured by the review aggregation site.”

‘The Bible,’ produced by Mark Burnett, creator of the “Survivor” reality show, and his wife, “Touched by an Angel” actress Roma Downey, wraps up on Easter Sunday.

Biblical productions often confound Hollywood critics. Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” became the biggest R-rated film ever in the United States, earning $600 million worldwide despite woeful reviews.




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