History's 'The Bible' is the Number 1 Cable Entertainment Telecast of the Year

Categories: 1-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

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March 4th, 2013


via press release:











New York, NY, March 4, 2013 – Over two telecasts on premiere night, THE BIBLE averaged 14.8 million viewers, 5 million Adults 18-49 and 5.6 million Adults 25-54. In the 8-10pm premiere 13.1 million total viewers flocked to THE BIBLE, including 4.6 million Adults 25-54. THE BIBLE is the #1 cable entertainment telecast of the year. Leading into the premiere HISTORY.com had it best day ever in its history, and THE BIBLE trended as #1 on Twitter with celebrities and influencers tweeting their own personal tune-in messages.


Says Nancy Dubuc, President, Entertainment and Media, A+E Networks, “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. We are the #1 cable entertainment telecast of the year to date! Leading into the premiere we had the best day ever on History.com, and THE BIBLE trended #1 on Twitter. Clearly there is a nationwide groundswell that was waiting for this moment. We launched an incredible and coordinated campaign - HISTORY worked hand in hand with Roma and Mark and their talented team. 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 could not be more thrilled with this out of the gate success of THE BIBLE on HISTORY,” said Executive Producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. "The world is watching right now and we are incredibly humbled by the reaction to the series. 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. We have to thank Nancy Dubuc and her HISTORY team for stepping up and joining us on this amazing journey – together we are now able to share this most sacred text that will continue to challenge and inspire.


“Today, more people are discussing God's chosen people - Moses and Abraham -in one day than ever before. 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. 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,” continued Roma and Mark.

THE BIBLE, premiering every Sunday on HISTORY over the next four Sundays, culminating on Easter, was created and executive produced by renowned producer Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice, Shark Tank) and Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel). The series, a landmark television event, combines one of the greatest collections of stories ever assembled with live action and state-of-the-art CGI. The series is narrated by Emmy award-winning actor/vocalist Keith David (Mr & Mrs Smith; Platoon; Crash) and features a musical score by the world renowned Grammy and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer. In April, The Bible series will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD with hours of exclusive special features and extras making it a must-own for every home. A book series by Mark and Roma is currently available in stores.


Leading the outstanding international cast is Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress and series’ co-executive producer Roma Downey, who plays Mother Mary. Joining her are Portuguese TV star Diogo Morgado as Jesus, as well as an array of acclaimed UK-based actors including Sean Teale (Skins), David Rintoul (The Iron Lady, My Week with Marilyn), Amber Rose Revah (The Borgias), Peter Guinness (an accomplished long time film/theatre actor), Greg Hicks (one of the UK’s best-known Shakespearean actors), and Simon Kunz (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Parent Trap, Matchpoint).


From Genesis to Revelation, HISTORY will illuminate the Bible, re-telling the stories as they unfold and revealing new insights into these iconic characters in context of the Bible. The series will feature some of the most famous stories ever written from Noah’s Ark and the Exodus to Daniel in the Lion’s Den to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.


THE BIBLE series is produced for HISTORY by Lightworkers Media and Hearst Entertainment & Syndication. Executive Producers are Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Richard Bedser. Executive Producers for HISTORY are Dirk Hoogstra and Julian P. Hobbs. THE BIBLE is distributed by One Three Media, Inc.



HISTORY® is the leading destination for factual entertainment, including award-winning original series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. The network’s all-original programming slate, including scripted event programming, features a roster of hits including American Pickers®, American Restoration™, Ax Men™, Ice Road Truckers®, Pawn Stars®, Swamp People® and Top Shot® as well as epic mini-series and specials such as the Emmy® Award-winning Hatfields & McCoys, Gettysburg, Vietnam in HD, America The Story of Us, and 102 Minutes That Changed America. The HISTORY website is the leading online resource for all things history, and in 2011, the United States Library of Congress selected HISTORY’s Civil War 150 site for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the American Civil War sesquicentennial. www.history.com


About Roma Downey

A celebrated, Emmy-nominated actress Roma Downey is best known for her nine seasons as the tender-hearted angel on the hit CBS show Touched by an Angel. Roma starred in over 200 episodes and her work as the compassionate angel inspired millions of people around the world and earned Roma multiple best actress nominations for Emmy’s and Golden Globe awards. Born in Ireland and classically trained in London, Ms. Downey has performed on stage with the famed Abbey Theatre Company and has appeared both on and off Broadway. She played the leading role of Jackie Kennedy Onassis in the Emmy award winning six hour miniseries for NBC called “A Woman Named Jackie." Ms. Downey not only starred in, but executive produced seven television movies for The CBS network, among them "Borrowed Hearts" with Eric Mc Cormack and "Second Honeymoon" with Tim Matheson. She is the executive producer of the children's DVD and book series "Little Angels" and its companion "Little Angels Storybook Bible". Downey is currently producing a ten hour miniseries, The Bible with her husband, Mark Burnett. This is being produced under their company LightWorkers Media and is the first collaboration of this husband and wife team. Ms. Downey not only produced the series but stepped into the role of Mary the Mother of Christ. Ms. Downey and Mr. Burnett have co-authored a companion book to the series ‘A Story of God and all of Us.’ The book is to be published this Spring by Faith Words. For many years Ms Downey has been a spokesperson for "Operation Smile" a volunteer organization that brings free surgeries to children around the globe with facial deformities. She has travelled to third world and developing countries making fund raising films on their behalf.



About Mark Burnett

Four time Emmy Award winner Mark Burnett has produced over 1,200 hours of television programming which regularly airs in over 70 countries worldwide. His current network series include "Survivor" (CBS), "The Voice" (NBC), "The Celebrity Apprentice" (NBC), and “Shark Tank” (ABC). In last 12 months Burnett series have won their time slots on 5 nights of television in the same week. Burnett is one of very few producers to have had a renewed series on each of the four major networks. He also has a strong presence in award show franchises, having produced the "MTV Movie Awards" from 2007 to 2011, the annual “People’s Choice Awards” since 2010, the "Video Game Awards" (Spike) and the 2011"Primetime Emmy Awards." Burnett is currently producing and distributing ten hour miniseries on The Bible (with his wife Roma Downey - Star of Touched by an Angel) for air globally in Spring 2013. Mr. Burnett has been named one of the world's most influential people by TIME Magazine and also listed as TV Guide’s most valuable player. He has won BRANDWEEK’S Marketer of the Year Award, The Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, the PGA Norman Lear Award and the prestigious ROSE D’OR FRAPA Format Award. Burnett was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was honored in 2010 with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. He served two elected terms on the Board of Directors for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles.


  • Derek Vincent

    What the Hell? How could this crap beat the Walking Dead’s numbers?!?

  • Derek Vincent

    Shows like “The Bible” bring the worst out of them “good ol’ Christians.” Religion makes people so hateful and ugly.

  • Leoben Conoy

    ahhhh, the best scripted series in years!!!

  • Spartacus 666

    Preety good, of course most of these stories are fictional or embellished. On a final note The Walking Dead is more plausible than 80% of the bible, religious simpletons.

  • Shepherd

    @Derek Vincent

    It didn’t really. more than 2/3 of the audience was outside the 18-49 demo. It only got a 3.3 for the first airing.

    I’m guessing many of the viewers were over 54 since they were quick to highlight the 25-54 demo, and 2.1m+ were 50-54.

  • Shepherd

    @Spartacus 666

    The funny thing is, by every review I’ve read anyway, they weren’t very true to, and often embellished on the book. Further embellishing on an already embellished collection of stories just stinks of desperation in my view. At least when you’re trying to pass it off as fact.

  • snoot

    Got to just shake your head at people like spartacus. Spreading hatred any chance they get.

  • Hypocrites

    Now I have atheist zealots more annoying then jehovah’s witness. Im religous I don’t need some internet smart A#% acting smart while being about as open minded as a bank vault. Listen Spartacus the real lie is people blame religion because they don’t have the balls to blame people. Really thats all it is like blaming guns for the person who pulled the trigger people do bad S%^&* they don’t need religion to do bad S$^*(….unless your a atheist who is about as religious as the next catholic but won’t admit it. Im glad its doing well though

  • Joe Smith

    it helps demonstrate how violent the religion and its followers were. old testament god and his worshipers killed a ton of people.

  • David Howell

    Yeah it’s easy to say it skews old, but the combined showings topped Idol’s performance show (!) in 18-49.

    One way or another, it’s another broadcast-size hit for History. That’s two shows now on the A&E networks that are beating *everything* on their former owner NBC in the demo. Wow.

  • JJ

    Bet the big networks wished they picked this up now. If it was this big on History, imagine how big it could’ve been on a major network? Older skewing? Sure. Although I hardly think even CBS would’ve been too quick to scoff at a 3.3 demo. lol (Which would’ve probably been higher had it aired on network TV.) This is a solid hit, plain and simple.

  • Cher

    This miniseries was really hyped at local churches, christian radio etc…that’s why so many people watched. There were watch parties being formed at churches. I, personally, was really excited to watch it. The only problem was it was HORRIBLY done!!! I thought it was one of the worst depictions I had ever seen. I think the intent was good, but the movie was bad!!!

  • JP

    This is going to be a FANTASTIC series.. great to see The Bible depicted in an excellent and visionary way!!! Cannnot wait for the next 4 weeks!!! EPIC!!! PRAISE JESUS!!!!!

  • Coffee Steve

    Very good Numbers, The Bible was fast paced, told in a way that did not drag the story out, and had great acting, and decent effects.

  • gerry

    this week’s walking dead was certainly the smartest of this season. it brought the show full circle by looking at the humanity gone wrong since the pilot (them not picking up the man who was calling for help for example). it also gave rick a chance to shine and it developed michonne’s character in a way that i’ve been wanting the show to do since she arrived. and the scene at the end as they were driving away was as cinematic as the barn burning down at the end of s2. good good stuff.

  • gerry

    and also, are all the nielson boxes in the midwest?

  • Shepherd


    Bet the big networks wished they picked this up now. If it was this big on History, imagine how big it could’ve been on a major network?

    I’m not surprised that none of the networks wanted to pick this up, even NBC. Where/when exactly did you expect them to air it? Two hours of programming on five consecutive Sundays? Either it would have had to air outside of primetime on Sunday, which would have killed the ratings with everyone being at church, or they would have had to air it on a Saturday, which defeats the strategy of airing a god show on a Sunday; and again would have seriously hurt the ratings, or they would have had to air it in the summer when nobody watches TV. Let’s not forget all of the complaints the network would have received about regular programming getting pushed/ put on long hiatuses had this aired Sunday during prime time.

    I think airing on cable is what allowed it to maximize its ratings. I’m still very curious to see how well it an hold an audience for another month. I don’t concur that people “can’t sit through 2 hours of TV”, and this show is just more proof of that, but two hours on every Sunday is a tough commitment for the 18-49 demo imo.

  • James

    Wow, lots of trolling in here for tv:btn…I expect better of the posters here. No need to be so disrespectful.

    @Mick271: the Bible happens to be most of the most accurate historical documents known to man: people, places, events, all very much verified. Whether or not you believe Jesus is the Son of God is a separate issue, but you really can not pretend the book is strictly ‘fiction’.

  • Shelly

    Interesting. The TV world must be beside itself. How do these much hyped new shows with big money stars tank within 2 weeks and a movie about JESUS is a surprise ratings hit? I love it…

  • wallaby2012

    This is a really good show. God is not dead, east of the San Andreas Fault line.

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