Television network NBC announced that it will produce a sequel to the History Channel's popular miniseries, "The Bible."
Producer Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, will continue working with the miniseries, which will follow the apostles establishing Christianity after Jesus Christ's death.
"I followed the development process of "The Bible" closely with Mark and knew that the story was far from over after Christ's Crucifixion," NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt said in an article on The Hollywood Reporter.com. "In fact, what happened in the aftermath - which is essentially the beginning of Christianity - is utterly fascinating. This will be attention-getting in every way."
Burnett is confident the sequel to "The Bible" miniseries will be successful.
"I believe in the next 15 years, more people on the planet will have seen our "Bible" series than not seen it," Burnett said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
The producer said he could see himself working on "Bible"-related material for the next 10 years, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The original "Bible" miniseries ran on cable television for five weeks in March, bringing in 13.1 million viewers its first week and closing with 11.7 million viewers on Easter Sunday.
The miniseries surpassed what early critics, including Entertainment Weekly and the Los Angeles Times, said of it, calling the show a "cheesefest" or "flat and often tedious." But when "The Bible" aired, it outperformed big-name shows including AMC's "The Walking Dead" as well as HBO's "Game of Thrones."
"The Bible" sold 520,000 copies its first week of release on DVD and became the highest-selling TV DVD product in the last five years, according to ENSTARS.com.
Many view the show's popularity as a positive return of religion into mainstream media. A recent poll from the Pew Research Center found that 48 percent of U.S. adults believe the growth of the nonreligious in America is a "bad thing."
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