LOS ANGELES — “The Bible” is getting its holy sequel.
NBC said Monday it was teaming with resident producer Mark Burnett for “A.D.: Beyond the Bible” (working title), the follow-up to this spring’s popular cable miniseries “The Bible” from Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey. It’s the first announced project under the network’s new miniseries initiative.
“The Bible,” oddly enough, made history on an entirely different network: History Channel. The cable network scored big with the 10-hour miniseries, which premiered to a hefty 13.1 million total viewers, according to Nielsen, back in March and wrapped Easter Sunday with nearly 12 million viewers. Since then, Burnett has hinted that a follow-up was in the works.
Burnett had been in talks with History, which is owned by the A&E Television Networks, about bringing the sequel to life there, but ultimately NBC offered a heftier paycheck, according to a source close to production.
“A.D: Beyond the Bible” will follow the period after Jesus’ death — and the ensuing unrest in the Holy Land, which seems to be of particular interest to NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt.
“I followed the development process of ‘The Bible’ closely with Mark and knew that the story was far from over after Christ’s Crucifixion,” he said. “In fact, what happened in the aftermath — which is essentially the beginning of Christianity — is utterly fascinating. The day after ‘The Bible’ premiered, I told Mark we were on board with no hesitation for the follow-up miniseries. This will be attention-getting in every way, and we’re proud to continue our association with Mark, which has just grown exponentially from ‘The Voice.’”
The series will be executive produced by “The Bible” team of Downey, Burnett and Richard Bedser. No word yet on when it will roll out.
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