Produced by reality TV powerhouse Mark Burnett and wife, Roma Downey, The Bible did well in the 25-54 age range averaging 4.6 million viewers.
Barnett hired the same company used by Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ to market The Bible. It not only paid off, but showed the strength of Christian audiences. “Clearly there is a nationwide groundswell that was waiting for this moment,” said president of A&E Networks, Nancy Dubuc. “We launched an incredible and coordinated campaign.”
Much of the History channel's programming is skewed towards men, and tends to pick up after the end of football season, which helped push the network's first scripted series, The Vikings, to 4.6 million viewers. Appearing after The Bible, the show grabbed a total of 8.3 million over two telecasts, 3.4 million of which were adults ages 18-49, while 3.8 million were ages 25-54. “We knew our audience had an appetite for this unexpected storytelling and it was a big bet that paid off,” Dubuc said of The Vikings.
Religion did well in the game show arena as well. GSN's American Bible Challenge scored big for the network.
The Bible will air every week in two-hour installments commencing on Easter Sunday.
Photo: History Channel