By Alison Willmore | Indiewire July 2, 2013 at 9:26AM
In an announcement that has to sting for the History channel, the sequel to "The Bible," the surprisingly massive miniseries hit from Mark Burnett ("Survivor," "Celebrity Apprentice," "The Voice") and his wife Roma Downey ("Touched By An Angel"), is headed to NBC. You know, you take a chance by allowing a reality show king to make his first scripted venture, a 10-hour religious saga going from Genesis to death of Jesus, and when it does well, he ups and moves the follow-up to one of the big networks.
The sequel is tentative titled "A.D.: Beyond the Bible," and will begin in the days after the crucifixion, when "in the face of terrible odds and brutal persecution, the small band of Jesus’ disciples stand against the combined might of Rome and their own local authorities. In a generation of rebellion, war, famine, and carnage, who can they trust? Who should they fear? Will tomorrow bring a violent death?" It will be executive produced by Burnett, Downey and Richard Bedser, the team behind "The Bible," and will be a co-production between LightWorkers Media, Hearst Productions and Universal Television.
While shows like "Mad Men" draw the majority of media attention, "The Bible" has been the biggest cable series of 2013, with the first episode pulling in 13.1 million viewers, and has also sold one million units in three months on DVD and Blu-Ray, making it easy to understand why NBC wanted in on this.
Per NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt in the announcement, "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. 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.’”