Musical event airing live from New Orleans Palm Sunday, March 20, on FOX
Two-hour event produced by dick clark productions, Eye2Eye Media and Anders Media Inc.
On Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016 (8-10 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), FOX will present "The Passion," a two-hour musical event, airing live from New Orleans, that tells the 2,000-year-old story of the last hours of Jesus Christ's life on earth.
Hosted and narrated by actor, writer, producer, director and New Orleans native Tyler Perry ("The Haves and The Have Nots," "Gone Girl"), the special will feature a cast of today's biggest stars (to be announced) performing a variety of popular music, arranged by executive producer and hit music producer Adam Anders ("Glee," "Rock of Ages").
Set in modern day, "The Passion" will follow the dramatic and inspirational story of Jesus of Nazareth, as he presides over the Last Supper, and then is betrayed by Judas, put on trial by Pontius Pilate, convicted, crucified and resurrected. The story will unfold live at some of New Orleans' most iconic locations, while featuring a procession of hundreds of people carrying a 20-foot, illuminated cross from Champion Square outside the Superdome to the live stage at Woldenburg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.
FOX has teamed with dick clark productions, the world's largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming, Eye2Eye Media and Anders Media Inc. to produce the event.
" 'The Passion' is both wonderfully entertaining and genuinely inspirational," said David Madden, president, entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Co. "We are so thrilled to have the multitalented Tyler Perry join us for this epic music production. He is the perfect host to lead the cast - and viewers - through the streets of New Orleans in this contemporary re-telling of a timeless story."
"This Palm Sunday television event is a modern-day production of the most famous story of all time, full of universal themes, which we hope provides a unifying experience, bringing the sacred and secular together," said Mark Bracco, EVP of programming and development for dick clark productions.
"The Passion" is a format originally created in the Netherlands by Eye2Eye Media's Jacco Doornbos. The Dutch version of "The Passion" has been produced annually since 2011 and has aired for the past five consecutive years, becoming a pop culture phenomenon as it built on its audience each year and commanded more than 46 percent market share in 2015.
Perry is an established American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, playwright, author and philanthropist. He started his career writing plays, many of which later became the inspiration for his film projects (including the iconic character, "Madea"). Perry's first feature film, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," debuted at No. 1 nationwide in 2005. In the 10 years since, the 16 films directed by Perry have all been met with massive commercial success and grossed nearly $2 billion. He has also stepped on the other side of the camera for other directors, including David Fincher for "Gone Girl" and Rob Cohen for "Alex Cross." He helped release the Academy Award-nominated film "Precious," on which he served as executive producer.