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‘The Bible’ series debuts with huge ratings

Editor’s Note: The History Channel’s “The Bible” has drawn criticism regarding its factual accuracy compared to the Scriptures. The following story addresses its popularity and impact on the culture.

NASHVILLE (BP) — History Channel’s “The Bible” miniseries debuted with impressive numbers that likely will capture the attention of other television executives, drawing 13.1 million total viewers on Sunday (March 3) to become the No. 1 entertainment telecast on cable so far this year.

It also was the top show Sunday night on either broadcast or cable TV.

The popularity of the program had a ripple effect, giving — the network’s website — its best day ever and also leading to “The Bible” becoming the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter that day.

The five-night series will be telecast over the next four Sundays, concluding Easter.

Media websites took notice of the miniseries’ popularity. posted a story with the headline, “How the History Channel Turned ‘The Bible’ Into a Blockbuster.” and several other websites posted stories calling the miniseries a “hit.”

“Those are the kinds of numbers that get TV executives’ attention, and ‘attention’ in the TV business means copying,” Time’s James Poniewozik wrote. “Last year, History pulled meganumbers with Hatfields and McCoys; now NBC is developing a Hatfields and McCoys series. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see more religious epics coming to TV — stories aimed, like The Bible miniseries, at the comfort zone of believers.”

Two professing Christians, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, are the executive producers.

“The world is watching right now and we are incredibly humbled by the reaction to the series,” Burnett and Downey said in a press release. “This #1 series is a tribute to all those who have helped us to spread the Word. Ultimately THE BIBLE will be seen and felt by billions around the globe.”

Downey told the radio program “For Faith & Family” that the “intention of making this series was to glorify God.”

Cable “entertainment” broadcasts comprise a category that includes scripted programming but excludes sports and news.

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Author: Guest Writer

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  • Terry

    Perhaps I should withhold comment at this point but what disturbs me the most is “truth.” Motive is good. The desire to glorify God most commendable; but do we actually believe that God can bless something that is not really His truth as stated in His Word? Hopefully the series will be “redeemed” by the portrayal of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that He is our only hope for eternal salvation. Oh, and one more thought, is the need to repent of sin made clear?

  • Rayburne F. Winsor

    I am enjoying the Bible Minnie series and am not one bit surprised it is beating out the Walking Dead Series in ratings (actually they should call it the Walking Crap Series because that is what it is). I (and many others) are tired of Hollywood producers reaching down into the lowest depth of the pit of human depravity to please the debased and sinful nature of humanity and then, what is far worse, calling it “Creative” entertainment (i.e. “Walking Dead”). At least, the MInnie Bible Series, in giving us biblical revelation, relates how fallen humanity has arrived to where it is today–separated from God and in need of a Savior—which truth can only be truly known by the power of God’s Spirit and Word (Divine revelation) working on the human heart and through faith in Jesus Christ. I believe God will use this Series to expose many to the truth of God’s Word and to draw many to Christ in repentance and faith. However, please don’t try to build your theology on a movie. Read and study your Bible and check out what it teaches, as did the early Christians at Berea (Acts 17:11). God bless.

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