"A.D." will most likely air in spring 2015, because unlike Earth, a miniseries can't be created in one day. But NBC wants to cash in on the success of "The Bible," which debuted March 3 on History Channel and averaged 13.2 million viewers when including live and DVR viewing within seven days of the premiere. It became the third most-watched cable TV series or miniseries in 2013, and had huge DVD sales.
"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 of 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."
Burnett, Downey and Richard Bedser will serve as executive producers of the new project, and it will be produced by LightWorkers Media. Simon Block will write the script.
"A.D." will pick up with the final moments of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection in the first episode, according to Jennifer Salke, president of 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," she said in a release. "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."
Downey and Burnett agreed. "It is the story that changed the world," they said in the release. "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."
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