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The Bible premiere on US TV attracts over 14 million viewers


Tuesday 5 March 2013

Credit: Joe Albas/History

The US History Channel’s The Bible mini-series kicked off on Sunday night to great success, according to the latest Nielsen TV ratings.

The two-hour premiere of the 5-part mini-series that runs through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, tallied 13.1 million viewers on Sunday night, making it the most-watched entertainment telecast on cable in the US this year. Combining viewers of the show’s repeat, that’s 14.8 million for the premiere. 

“The success of The Bible has catapulted History into one of the most powerful brands across the media landscape and we could not be more thrilled and more proud,” said Nancy Duboc, president of A&E Networks (owners of the US History Channel).

According to Entertainment Weekly, while The Bible didn’t quite top the History Channel’s record for most viewers (earned last year by mini-series Hatfields & McCoy, with 13.9 million viewers), the premiere “thumped” all the major broadcast networks.

In a statement, producers Mark Burnett (creator of Survivor and Celebrity Apprentice) and his wife Roma Downey (of Touched by an Angel fame), said:

“We could not be more thrilled with this out of the gate success.The world is watching right now and we are incredibly humbled by the reaction to the series. This No. 1 series is a tribute to all those who have helped us to spread the Word. Ultimately The Bible will be seen and felt by billions around the globe …Today, more people are discussing God’s chosen people — Moses and Abraham — in one day than ever before.” 

The Washington Post reported “it’s not every day that the Bible is trending on Twitter and Google.”

The premiere racked up a lot of discussion on social media, due at least in part to a multitude of celebrity endorsements for the series on Twitter, including Glee star Jane Lynch, Christina Aguilera, rapper P.Diddy, psychic John Edward, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and Shakira.

The Bible Series board of advisors also got behind the program, including Joel Osteen (Lakewood Church, Texas), Rick Warren (Saddleback Church, California), Bishop T.D. Jakes (The Potter’s House, Dallas) and Dr Miroslav Volf (Yale Divinity School).

According to Australia’s History Channel, there are currently no plans to bring the series to our shores.

Watch the extended promo here:

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