NBC Snags Mark Burnett's 'Bible' Follow-Up Series

Philiana Ng
Mark Burnett Prepping 'The Bible' for Theatrical Release

Mark Burnett is bringing his follow-up project to the hugely successful miniseries, The Bible, to NBC.

A.D.: Beyond the Bible continues NBC's valuable relationship with Burnett, who executive produces The Voice. It also marks the first project under NBC's new long-form programming initiative following former ABC long-form executive Quinn Taylor's move to the Peacock network to the position of executive vp movie, miniseries and international co-productions in mid-June.

A.D.: Beyond the Bible, from Burnett and wife Roma Downey, begins in the days after Jesus' betrayal and death. With NBC partnering to bring the follow-up to broadcast, the network is hoping to duplicate the success History Channel had with The Bible. The 10-parter debuted to 13.1 million viewers March 3, before wrapping up Easter Sunday with 11.7 million.

Since being released on DVD and Blu-ray in April, The Bible is the top-selling miniseries of all time and has sold more than 1 million units in the past three months.

“NBC is thrilled to bring this highly-anticipated sequel to Mark and Roma’s The Bible to network television,” said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment. “There was huge interest in this project within the television community and NBC is gratified by Mark’s confidence in our ability to partner with him and position this miniseries as true event television.“

 “I followed the development process of The Bible closely with Mark and knew that the story was far from over after Christ’s Crucifixion. In fact, what happened in the aftermath – which is essentially the beginning of Christianity – is utterly fascinating," said Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. "The day after The Bible premiered, I told Mark we were on board with no hesitation for the follow-up miniseries. This will be attention-getting in every way, and we’re proud to continue our association with Mark which has just grown exponentially from ‘The Voice.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Bob, Jen and Quinn Taylor to bring the follow-up to our hit cable series The Bible to broadcast television with NBC," said Burnett and Downey in a joint statement  "Our new series, A.D.: Beyond the Bible, is another massive project and a major commitment, but it’s a story that has to be told. It’s a story that changed the world. We look forward to making this an enormous television event on NBC."

A.D. Beyond the Bible will be executive produced by Downey, Burnett and Richard Bedser. It is a co-production between Downey and Burnett's LightWorkers Media, Hearst Productions and Universal Television.

E-mail: Philiana.Ng@THR.com
Twitter: @insidethetube