NBC announced today that Mark Burnett, who already has a relationship with the network through his series The Voice and Celebrity Apprentice, will continue that relationship by bringing his follow-up to the smash-hit series The Bible to NBC.
The Bible was a huge success for History channel this past spring when it aired its 10 parts, which covered Genesis through Revelation. It’s likely NBC is hoping for similar ratings results in this sequel, which has the working title of A.D.: Beyond the Bible. As he did with The Bible, Burnett (pictured) will be producing with his wife, Roma Downey (who also starred in The Bible as Mary), and Richard Bedser, as this sequel moves from cable to broadcast.
“NBC is thrilled to bring this highly-anticipated sequel to Mark and Roma’s The Bible to network television,” said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment. “There was huge interest in this project within the television community and NBC is gratified by Mark’s confidence in our ability to partner with him and position this miniseries as true event television.”
In terms of what A.D.: Beyond the Bible will be about, the press release says: “[The miniseries] begins in the dark days after Jesus’ betrayal and death. A perfect storm brews in the Holy Land, fueled by social injustice, Roman military oppression and religious unrest. High priests and the Herod dynasty vie for power. Zealot revolutionaries turn to violence to regain what they believe is their promised land. And in the face of terrible odds and brutal persecution, the small band of Jesus’ disciples stand against the combined might of Rome and their own local authorities. In a generation of rebellion, war, famine, and carnage, who can they trust? Who should they fear? Will tomorrow bring a violent death? For many, it does … but others survive, and as the storm around them breaks, the fate of Israel, of Rome and of their faith is decided.”
Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, offered, ““I followed the development process of The Bible closely with Mark and knew that the story was far from over after Christ’s crucifixion. 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.”
No word yet on an air date for A.D.: Beyond the Bible. Also no word on if that controversial Satan will be back to stir things up …
Mark Burnett: Ben Cohen/NBC