Nearly 15 million people tuned in to the The Bible miniseries premiere episode on The History Channel this past weekend. The series’ Facebook page said the premiere was “the biggest cable event of 2013 … #1 on all of TV, #1 on the Web and #1 on Twitter.” Entertainment Weekly reported that the debut resulted in “more viewers and a higher demo rating than any show on the major broadcast networks last night and ranks as cable’s most-watched entertainment telecast this year.”
The Washington Post wrote today that “it’s not every day that the Bible is trending on Twitter and Google, but it’s also not every day that a Hollywood power couple produces a 10-hour miniseries taking viewers from the Garden of Eden to the Book of Revelation, all in HD.” Christian NFL quarterback Tim Tebow tweeted about the miniseries just hours before the premiere began. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, reviewing for The Christian Post, called the miniseries “a remarkable spiritual and emotional experience.” And most Baptist Press readers gave the debut a thumbs-up.
Nancy Dubuc, president of A&E Networks which owns The History Channel, commented to Entertainment Weekly, “Clearly there is a nationwide groundswell that was waiting for this moment … An enormous debt of gratitude goes out to everyone and the amazing effort put forth to drive us to this amazing win. Clearly the passion for this project has resonated with our viewers and across the nation. We are thrilled, and the story is only just beginning.”
“We’ve been working on this project for the past four years now and are deeply honored to be given this once-in-a-generation opportunity to breathe new visual life into the Bible’s profound stories,” husband-and-wife producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey said in a statement. “The Bible gives meaning and purpose to billions of people around the world. We believe the success of the series will spark the curiosity of billions more.”
“We could not be more thrilled with this out of the gate success,” Downey and Burnett continued. “The world is watching right now and we are incredibly humbled by the reaction to the series. This No. 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 …Today, more people are discussing God’s chosen people — Moses and Abraham — in one day than ever before.”
The series will continue each Sunday through Easter. Learn more about the series at http://www.thebibleminiseries.com/.