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Hugely positive response to TV Bible series

By Sarah Mac Donald - 04 January, 2014

The bibleTV3 has received hundreds of emails and telephone calls praising the US mini-series The Bible, which aired exclusively on the station over the festive period.

Produced by the Emmy award winning husband and wife team, Mark Burnett and Irish-born Roma Downey, The Bible explores the story of God’s creation of the Earth and the landmark events leading up to the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Due to the series’ success, TV3 has said it is already planning to show the epic drama series again next Christmas. 

According to a statement issued by the independent television station, since the first episode aired on 21 December, it has been “inundated with emails and phone calls of high praise from viewers who found the epic five-part, 10-hour mini-series extremely impressive and entertaining.”

TV3 received over one hundred emails from viewers around the country who were inspired to send their thanks after viewing the series.

The station exclusively acquired the rights to air The Bible in Ireland after the series proved a massive hit in the US, with over 13 million viewers tuning in to watch the first episode.

Narrated by BAFTA-nominated actor Robert Powell (Jesus of Nazareth, Holby City, The Detectives) and featuring a musical score by the world renowned Grammy and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, the fact that The Bible was a creation of Irish-born and Emmy award winning actress Roma Downey and her husband and partner Mark Burnett, was another key selling point according to TV3.

The entire series of The Bible reached over one million individual viewers on TV3 but the station’s director of content is confident the programme will attract a larger audience the next time it airs.

Jeff Ford, TV3 Group Director of Content, said: “The Bible is a hugely impressive production that hit home with a lot of people. It was really fantastic to get such great feedback from our viewers.”

“I can’t remember the last time I saw so many emails to express how much a programme was enjoyed so it really was heart-warming and encouraging. TV3 will definitely show The Bible again, most likely next Christmas.”

He added, “It’s a wonderful series about a subject that really matters to people of all ages and it never dates. In fact, I think there’s great scope for it to do better second time around, particularly after the feedback it received.”

The ten-hour mini series has topped a million home entertainment sales in the US.

Co producer and actress, Roma Downey, comes from Derry. She is best known for her role as Monica in Touched by an Angel. In the series, Downey plays Mary, the mother of Jesus, and stars alongside Diogo Morgado, in the role of Jesus.

The Bible was shown originally on the History Channel with episode one drawing 13.1 million viewers last March, before wrapping up on Easter Sunday with 11.7 million viewers.

Such has been its success in the US, that NBC has now commissioned a further mini-series of 12 episodes AD: Beyond the Bible, which takes up the story from the passion, to the resurrection and continues on. 

It is hoped this will be ready for broadcast in the US in spring 2015.

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