'A.D.: Beyond The Bible' (working title) from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey is first announced project under NBC's new long-form programming initiative
Award-winning executive producer Mark Burnett ("The Voice," "Celebrity Apprentice") will continue his relationship with the peacock network by bringing "A.D.: Beyond the Bible" (working title) to NBC. Working with his wife, actress Roma Downey, this is Burnett's follow-up project to spring's enormously popular 10-part miniseries "The Bible."
Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment, and Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, made the announcement.
"NBC is thrilled to bring this highly anticipated sequel to Mark and Roma's 'The Bible' to network television," Salke said. "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."
Greenblatt added: "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.'"
"We are thrilled to be working with Bob, Jen and Quinn Taylor to bring the follow-up to our hit cable series 'The Bible' to broadcast television with NBC," Burnett and Downey said. "Our new series, 'A.D.: Beyond the Bible,' is another massive project and a major commitment, but it's a story that has to be told. It's a story that changed the world. We look forward to making this an enormous television event on NBC."
"A.D.: Beyond the Bible" 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.
"The Bible," which was produced by Burnett and Downey's LightWorkers Media and starred Downey as Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the No. 1 new cable series of 2013 and dominated both ratings and media attention this spring. In its first week of home video release, "The Bible" was the top-selling miniseries of all time and the No. 1 television series on DVD and Blu-Ray in the past five years. It has just surpassed 1 million units sold in the past three months.