Mark Burnett and Roma Downey Wanted “your grandmother” and “your kids” to enjoy The Bible

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey Wanted “your grandmother” and “your kids” to enjoy The Bible Mark Burnett and Roma Downey - the television power-couple – have been working on The Bible - a 10-hour, $22 million miniseries – since 2009, and sourced their own funding.

The reasoning behind the show? "this is the most-read book in the history of the country," Burnett told USA Today of The Bible. “We wanted to create something that was visually fresh and exciting and compelling, that your grandmother would enjoy but that your kids would enjoy," says Downey, who plays Mary, Jesus' mother, in several episodes. "We wanted it to be the Bible for this generation, that it didn't have that donkeys-and-sandals feel of Bible movies from our own childhood." Of course, the actual Bible is huge, so this will be more of a selected highlights package, if you will. "The biggest challenge is what you're not telling, distilling what those iconic stories are," says Nancy Dubuc, president of entertainment and media at History parent A&E Networks. "It's not feasible to tell the entire narrative of the Bible."

"We had written and prepped to shoot (the story of) Joseph and ran out of time and money," Burnett added. The show premieres Sunday on History (8 ET/PT) and wraps up its five-week run on Easter, which has a nice religious poetry to it. Burnett is the reality producer behind Survivor, The Voice and The Apprentice, while Downey is best known for playing Monica, on CBS' Touched By an Angel,for nine seasons.


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