Mark Burnett on the Miniseries 'The Bible': More Than Half the People Alive Will Probably See It Eventually
More than 100 million viewers have watched "The Bible," the DVD has become the best-selling miniseries DVD of all time, and it earned three Emmy nominations. Producers Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, are already working on both a theatrical-release version and a follow-up miniseries.
During their travels around the globe, premiering "The Bible" in various countries, Burnett and Downey took time out to talk to Yahoo! TV about the surprise of being embraced by viewers and the Television Academy ("The Bible" is nominated for best miniseries, sound editing, and sound mixing); their sequel plans; and how, Burnett estimates, more than half the people in the world will eventually have seen the duo's passion project.
Congratulations, not only on the Emmy nominations, but also on the DVD sales of "The Bible."
Mark Burnett: It's absolutely incredible. We're thrilled, absolutely thrilled, to have gotten almost 100 million TV viewers on History Channel — and then to go on and become the No. 1 selling TV miniseries is just incredible.
Roma Downey: We just had our finale of "The Bible" in Australia [this week]; they have been showing it over the last five or six weeks there. It was huge, and there was fantastic activity on Twitter. We're delighted that this rolled out so fully and has just been a big smash in one country after another.
This was really what you had planned for and hoped for, from the beginning — that you would be able to reach a worldwide audience?
Burnett: Absolutely, and it has continued. We're going to be going, in October, to Korea and China to show people the series. I think over the next few years, this will be the most watched — not just the No. 1 DVD — miniseries of all time, because in all those countries, it has been catching on so fast. So many people are watching it and rewatching it. It's big globally. We get emails from China, from Korea, from the Philippines … people are globally aware of it. The work that came out of Roma and myself working on this series will likely, over the next 20 years, be seen by more people on Earth than have not seen it. More than half the people alive will have probably seen it. There are very few things you can say that about.
[Related: 2013 Emmy Nominations By the Numbers]
In addition to the Emmy nominations for "The Bible," Mark, you're also nominated for "The Voice" and "Shark Tank." Were any of the nominations a surprise?
Burnett: We were very, very pleased to get the "Bible" nominations. Sometimes, having such a large viewership can work against you in nominations, but this time we managed to have both the viewership and the nominations. We're very grateful to the academy.
Downey: It was very gratifying. We worked so hard on this. We poured our hearts and our souls into it. It's been a project that we have loved — a passion project for Mark and myself. To see the nominations from the Academy really was … thrilling. We're just very excited.
With all the travel you're doing to promote "The Bible," will you be in Los Angeles to attend the Emmys?
Downey: Yes, we'll absolutely be attending. We're really looking forward to that evening. We're in a strong category, lots of wonderful shows, and we're delighted to be amongst them.