NBC says it will air a sequel to the hit cable miniseries "The Bible."
The network said Monday that it will join with producer Mark Burnett and his actress-wife, Roma Downey, on the sequel. Mr. Burnett and Ms. Downey produced "The Bible" for the History channel.
The Bible mini-series which aired in March drew a big audience, at least 12 million viewers on Sunday nights. And it surprised critics and TV execs. As The Christian Science Monitor reported:
"The runaway success of the Judeo-Christian-themed show reveals an appetite for religious programming that is consistently overlooked in Hollywood.
“We often forget that Christians are still the largest special interest group in America,” says Hollywood producer and Christian media advocate Phil Cooke.
“Whenever they rally behind a movie, TV series, product, or cause, something big happens,” he adds, pointing to the now landmark message sent by Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ.” Within months, he notes, “nearly every studio in Hollywood had opened a faith-based division,” hoping to capitalize on that market."
Downey starred in "Touched by an Angel" and also played Jesus's mother, Mary, in the miniseries that aired earlier this year.
NBC says the sequel has the working title "A.D.: Beyond the Bible" and will open in the days following the crucifixion of Jesus.
Casting and an air date haven't been announced.
Burnett's producing credits include the NBC series "The Voice" and "Celebrity Apprentice."