NBC Greenlights 12-Hour Miniseries 'A.D.'

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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December 17th, 2013


via press release:


Emmy Award Winner Mark Burnett, Roma Downey to Executive Produce Historical Project

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Dec. 17, 2013 — NBC has greenlit the 12-hour miniseries “A.D.,” a follow-up to the miniseries “The Bible” that aired on History earlier this year from creators Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.

The project will be produced by LightWorkers Media with Burnett, Downey and Richard Bedser serving as executive producers.

“A.D.” will most likely air in spring 2015.

“Last year when Mark Burnett was launching ‘The Bible’ on cable, I told him, without hesitation, that if he wanted to tell more of the story, we’d love to do it at NBC,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “We are firmly in the ‘event’ business and nothing has more event potential than ‘A.D.’ as it continues immediately after the ‘The Bible’ ended. The heft of a broadcast network, combined with the promotional arms of NBCUniversal and Comcast, will push this miniseries to a mass audience. We value our relationship with Mark and Roma and know that no one could bring this story to life better than them.”

“You might think the story is over at the Crucifixion, but as most of the world knows, that was only the beginning,” added Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment. “Everyone’s lives were completely altered in an instant and the immediate aftermath of Christ’s death had an impact on his disciples, his mother Mary, and key political and religious leaders of the time. In the first episode alone you see the last moments of the Crucifixion, Judas taking his own life after betraying Christ, Peter denying Jesus three times, and then the miracle of the Resurrection. We feel so fortunate to be in the hands of Mark and Roma, who have proven that the greatest story ever told is still just that.”

“We are so thrilled to be all systems go with NBC on ‘A.D.,’ our follow-up to ‘The Bible,’” said Downey and Burnett. “It is the story that changed the world.  Millions have died for it and billions live by it. We know that an enormous community will be counting the days until ‘A.D.’ premieres. We look forward to making this an epic global television event.”

Simon Block, who is two-time BAFTA-nominated for the TV movie “The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall,” will write the script. A director and cast will be announced at a later date.

For its March 3 premiere on History in live-plus-same day viewing, “The Bible” drew 13.1 million viewers. The final episode of the 10-part series, which aired on Easter Sunday, drew 11.7 million and defeated “The Walking Dead” in the 9 p.m. hour.

When including live-plus-7 figures, “The Bible” averaged 13.2 million viewers and was the third most-watched cable television series or miniseries in 2013.

Immediately following its cable telecasts, “The Bible” became a huge DVD seller. The miniseries sold 525,000 units in its first week on sale, which ranks as the fastest-selling DVD release in the last five years. It’s also the top miniseries DVD seller of all-time in the first week of release.

Burnett is a five-time Emmy Award winner who has produced more than 2,400 hours of television programming, which regularly airs in more than 70 countries worldwide. Currently, Burnett’s network series include “The Voice,” “The Sing-Off” and “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC, as well as “Shark Tank” (ABC) and “Survivor” (CBS). He has also produced the “MTV Movie Awards,” “People’s Choice Awards” and the primetime Emmys.

In addition to television, Downey and Burnett are working on the feature film “Son of God,” to be released by 20th Century Fox in February. Time magazine named Burnett one of the world’s most influential people. He was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2010 and has served two elected terms on the Board of Directors for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles.

LightWorkers Media

Emmy-nominated actress Roma Downey and her husband producer Mark Burnett launched LightWorkers Media in 2011 with the children’s DVD and book series “Little Angels” and its companion “Little Angels Storybook Bible.” LightWorkers Media produced the 10-hour miniseries “The Bible” and will be producing the feature film version “Son of God” for 20th Century Fox. They recently acquired Alice Hoffman’s award-wining novel “The Dovekeepers.” LightWorkers Media is dedicated to shining a light and bringing uplifting content to people of all ages.


    A very smart move–HOPE IT DOES WELL & starts a new trend (or old trend, actually)

  • Alec

    So, “miniseries” … Until it does well and is ordered for a second season.

  • Cory

    NBC already had same mini-series in 1985, and it didn’t to that well, I want The Dark Tower.

  • Ultima

    Presumably they will air this on Sunday nights with the premiere on 1 March 2015 (Sunday after the Oscars) and finale on 5 April (Easter Sunday).

  • Ultima

    So, “miniseries” … Until it does well and is ordered for a second season.

    No, it’s not a “miniseries,” it’s actually a miniseries (as opposed to a limited series, which has a limited number of episodes and can have multiple seasons, which is what you are insinuating based on your use of quotations).

    The Bible was also a miniseries, this is a sequel to it (and yes, there have been many miniseries in the past that have had sequels, but not multiple seasons).

  • Ultima

    @The Old Man
    A very smart move–HOPE IT DOES WELL & starts a new trend (or old trend, actually)

    NBC has a few other four-hour miniseries/movies in development. Maybe they’re planning on devoting the Sunday 9-11pm timeslot to that format for the entire winter/spring next season. :)

  • S.P.


    The Bible if successful – will have multiple seasons. Burnet was quoted saying – in july: There’s no reason it doesn’t last 10 years.

  • AP076

    ““The Bible” averaged 13.2 million viewers and was the third most-watched cable television series or miniseries in 2013.”

    So two of the top three series featured the dead returning to walk the earth, yea ;-)

  • Ralph Hahn

    NBC changed its mind again. The 12-hour miniseries will be all about Hillary Clinton, to air Halloween 2016. lol

  • Ekras

    @AP076 and they are all non-fiction!

  • CraveRecords

    If I NBC, I’d be wanting anything to plug into the holes that will surely come out of another batch of terrible shows to fill football’s spot.

  • cimmer

    I thought they got rid of the peacock? Anyway, going back to the mini series formats of the 70’s? That’s cool, although along with the ‘live’ shows etc. they seem to be trying to go for an older more conservative demo.


    Knowing NBC. This’ll premiere in the 2’s and drop from there. UNLESS they air it after The Voice. The only safe spot on NBC ‘s schedule


    @ Ultima

    It would be a very good move if they did! Make everything old new again.

    @ SP

    The bible rocks. Can’t wait to see Noah on the big screen!

  • Jagger Dagger

    If it does well, NBC already has their next mini series:


    @ cimmer

    “The Bible” had a decent 18-49 share in the ratings, and if handled well, there’s no reason why mini-series wouldn’t do well, or at least better than NBC does w/ their current winter/spring fare.

  • cimmer

    @The Old Man, anything that gets even moderate ratings would be a win for NBC at this point.
    @Jagger Dagger, I like it. I’m thinking doing the Bible in the style of the telenovels on Univision would be interesting too. ;)

  • Tyson


    Get William Levy to play Jesus and NBC’s “Bible telenovela” is off to a great start.

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