The Bible: History channel series debuts to big numbers

Updated March 5, 2013, 3:29pm CT

Over two telecasts on its premiere night (March 3), The Bible History channel averaged 14.8 million total viewers on the night, and 13.1 million total viewers from 8-10pm, becoming the No. 1 cable entertainment telecast of the year to date, according to a History release. UPDATE 3/5/13: A revised History release says that over 27 million people tuned in to all or part of The Bible on Sunday night, with new Nielsen numbers confirming that The Bible was the No. 1 show in all of television for that night, including broadcast.

“The success of The Bible has catapulted History into one of the most powerful brands across media landscape and we could not be more thrilled and more proud,” said Nancy Dubuc, president, Entertainment and Media, A+E Networks.

The Bible‘s premiere night saw it draw 5 million Adults 18-49 and 5.6 million Adults 25-54. During the 8-10pm premiere, 4.6 million Adults 25-54 tuned in. Leading in to the premiere, had its best day ever.

“We are incredibly humbled by the reaction to the series,” said executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. Downey also stars as Mother Mary in The Bible.

The Bible continues its run the next four Sundays on History, concluding on Easter (March 31). In the next episode, premiering March 10 at 8pm ET, Joshua conquers Jericho; Delilah betrays Samson (pictured) as the Israelites battle the Philistines; Samuel anoints David king, a move that could throw the nation into civil war; Saul is consumed with jealousy when David defeats Goliath; King David ushers in a golden age for Israel, but is soon seduced by power and lust for Bathsheba; God forgives David, and his son, Solomon, builds God’s temple in Jerusalem.

The Bible airs Sundays at 8pm ET on History through March 31.


© 2012 A+E Networks, LLC. Credit: Joe Alblas

1 Comment

  1. 03/04/13

    I watched “The Bible” and “The Vikings” first episodes on History Channel and have the following observations:

    The first episode of “Vikings” was mostly positive; “Bible” was a disaster. The two-hour “Bible” was filled with mostly empty false drama, especially the writing and character of Abraham and Noah. The special effects used for the “Red Sea” evacuation of the Jews from Egypt was historically incorrect, and one of the few visual effects which held the poorly presented two-hour episode somewhat together. Let’s hope that some of the next four episodes of “Bible” are more compelling than last night’s amateurish presentation.

    “Vikings”, on the other hand was much more focused, because it did not try to present 400 years of history in one episode, as did “Bible.” The characters, especially Rollow (sp?), were quite believable. And, unlike, “Bible”, “Vikings” did not resort to overwrought presentations of its characters.

    I have been a huge fan of History Channel for years. It was satisfactory watching “Vikings” last night. Not so for “Bible.”

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