The Bible Hits #1 Mar07

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The Bible Hits #1

THE BIBLE PREMIERES AS #1 SHOW; #1 CABLE TELECAST OF THE YEAR; #1 TREND ON TWITTER

bible-episode-2-joshua-ark-covenant-PRoma Downey and Mark Burnett, executive producers of THE BIBLE miniseries, thanked the nation today for making the show’s Sunday premiere on HISTORY the No. 1 cable television event of the year with more than 14.8 million viewers.

“We know God moved last night,” Downey said. “People of all denominations showed the power that can be unleashed in our culture when we band together, individual believers with a shared purpose and vision.  The world is won when the church is one.”

Night one of the five-part BIBLE series – which airs each Sunday in March – was the most watched TV program of the night, even beating out Burnett’s perennial ratings hit “The Celebrity Apprentice.” It also dominated social media, trending as #1 Twitter topic throughout most of its two-hour run. Additionally, the ratings grew every 30 minutes. The numbers are likely to go even higher in the next week as DVR viewings are factored in, especially since many families were in church during the show’s broadcast airings.

“This book is alive. Today, more Americans and Canadians are talking about God’s chosen people,” Burnett said. “They’re talking more about the faithfulness and perseverance of Noah, Abraham and Moses than any time in recent history.

The response to the series, Downey added, is exactly what she and Burnett hoped for when they conceived the project four years ago. “We have received emails all day from people who had not thought about these stories in years,” she said. “They are the foundation of our faith, they are the foundation of our laws and they are the foundation of this nation.”

Following the premiere, calls flooded in to Burnett’s One Three Media offices about the series. “The world is talking about the Bible,” said Scot Cru, Head of International at One Three Media. “People all across the globe are asking for the series to air in their countries. One Three Media will distribute this show to television stations around the world.”

Downey and Burnett expressed gratitude to Christian leaders and pastors all across the country who helped them share their vision for the series over the last year. Many of them, in fact, contacted Downey and Burnett on Monday, when the ratings figures were released, to congratulate them on the show’s success. “What an amazing accomplishment!” said Joel Osteen, senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston. “We celebrate your dream coming true.”

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council, told the couple, “This is the beginning of something big.” “If this nation begins to re-engage God’s word,” he said, “it carries the potential for a new awakening.”

Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church said of the series’ success, “We all know what good and faithful servants Roma and Mark have been in making this series.  And now the world is responding with overwhelming support.  God is at work!  One can only imagine what the ratings will be when the real star of the show appears onscreen.”  (Jesus, played by Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado, makes his first significant appearance in the series March 17.)

Downey and Burnett share Warren’s hope for the rest of the series’ run.

“When God starts something, He finishes it,” they said. “Clearly, He’s started something with this series and we’re honored He’s allowed us to be His instruments in sharing it with the world.”

THE BIBLE series is produced for HISTORY by Lightworkers Media and Hearst Entertainment & Syndication.  Executive Producers are Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Richard Bedser. Executive Producers for HISTORY are Dirk Hoogstra and Julian P. Hobbs. THE BIBLE is distributed by One Three Media, Inc.

About Roma Downey

A celebrated, Emmy-nominated actress Roma Downey is best  known for her nine seasons as the tender-hearted angel on the hit CBS show Touched by an Angel.  Roma starred in over 200 episodes and her work as the compassionate angel inspired millions of people around the world and earned Roma multiple best actress nominations for Emmy’s and Golden Globe awards.  Born in Ireland and classically trained in London, Ms. Downey has performed on stage with the famed Abbey Theatre Company and has appeared both on and off Broadway. She played the leading role of Jackie Kennedy Onassis in the Emmy award winning six hour miniseries for NBC called “A Woman Named Jackie.”  Ms. Downey not only starred in, but executive produced seven television movies for The CBS network, among them “Borrowed Hearts” with Eric Mc Cormack and “Second Honeymoon” with Tim Matheson.  She is the executive producer of the children’s DVD and book series “Little Angels” and its companion “Little Angels Storybook Bible”.  Downey is currently  producing a ten hour miniseries, The Bible with her husband, Mark Burnett.  This is being produced under their company LightWorkers Media and is the first collaboration of this husband and wife team. Ms. Downey not only produced the series but stepped into  the role of Mary the Mother of Christ.  Ms. Downey and Mr. Burnett have co-authored a companion book to the series ‘A Story of God and all of Us.’ The book is to be published  this Spring by Faith Words.  For many years Ms Downey has been a spokesperson for “Operation Smile” a volunteer organization that brings free surgeries to children around the globe with facial deformities. She has travelled to third world and developing countries making fund raising films on their behalf.

About Mark Burnett

Four-time Emmy Award winner Mark Burnett has produced over 1,200 hours of television programming which regularly airs in over 70 countries worldwide. His current network series include “Survivor” (CBS),  “The Voice” (NBC), “The Celebrity Apprentice” (NBC), and “Shark Tank” (ABC).  In last 12 months Burnett series have won their time slots on 5 nights of television in the same week.  Burnett is one of very few producers to have had a renewed series on each of the four major networks.  He also has a strong presence in award show franchises, having produced the “MTV Movie Awards” from 2007 to 2011, the annual “People’s Choice Awards” since 2010,  the “Video Game Awards” (Spike) and the 2011″Primetime Emmy Awards.”  Burnett is currently producing and distributing ten hour miniseries on The Bible (with his wife Roma Downey – Star of Touched by an Angel) for air globally in Spring 2013.  Mr. Burnett has been named one of the world’s most influential people by TIME Magazine and also listed as TV Guide’s most valuable player. He has won BRANDWEEK’S Marketer of the Year Award, The Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, the PGA Norman Lear Award and the prestigious ROSE D’OR FRAPA Format Award.  Burnett was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was honored in 2010 with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.  He served two elected terms on the Board of Directors for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles.

About HISTORY®

HISTORY® is the leading destination for factual entertainment, including award-winning original series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. The network’s all-original programming slate, including scripted event programming,  features a roster of hits including American Pickers®, American Restoration™, Ax Men™, Ice Road Truckers®, Pawn Stars®, Swamp People® and Top Shot® as well as epic mini-series and specials such as the Emmy® Award-winning Hatfields & McCoys, Gettysburg, Vietnam in HD, America The Story of Us, and 102 Minutes That Changed America. The HISTORY website is the leading online resource for all things history, and in 2011, the United States Library of Congress selected HISTORY’s Civil War 150 site for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the American Civil War sesquicentennial.  www.history.com