The next phase of Mark Burnett‘s The Bible-will-conquer-the-world plan is 20th Century Fox‘s feature-length film cut of the 10-part History Channel miniseries. The studio acquired rights to Son Of God in September and will release it February 28, 2014. At the Produced By Conference in June, Burnett said: “Just on the scripted side, I could spend the next 10 years just distributing the Bible series and the movie. I believe that in the next 15 years more people on the planet will have seen our Bible series that haven’t seen it.” Fox, which also has home video rights to The Bible, certainly hopes so. Here’s the first trailer — featuring new footage — that dropped this week:
With the broadcast reality space in a rut of late, NBC continues to take big swings. Following the expensive two-week Million Second Quiz stint, the network has bought another even bigger-budget show — the space travel reality series that Survivor and The Voice producer Mark Burnett had been pitching with British mogul Richard Branson. This marks a reunion, as 12 years ago NBC outbid several other networks for Burnett’s Destination: Mir, which was later scrapped as the Russian space station that was to be the series’ destination was brought down shortly thereafter. Burnett later tried with Destination: Space, which also didn’t get off the ground. Both were in partnership with the Russian space program and to use Soyuz rockets. The new NBC series, titled Space Race, is done with Branson’s Virgin Galactic, advertised as the world’s first commercial spaceline. The premise is the same — everyday people compete for a trip into space — in this case on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. (The first flight of the new spaceline is reportedly already fully booked, dominated by celebrity travelers.) The training of the contestants will be done at Virgin Galactic’s home in Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage
History‘s 10-part miniseries The Bible continues to be the gift that keeps on giving, landing three Emmy nominations this morning including one for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie (as well as for sound editing and sound mixing). The noms further burnished the credentials of the series’ married exec producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey and come at a time when the project has taken on a successful life of its own: Burnett sold a sequel this month to NBC (tentatively titled AD: Beyond The Bible) and has seen the original mini emulate the massive ratings success it had on History overseas (it bowed to huge ratings this week in Australia). The series was No. 1 in its time period for all of TV when it aired in March and averaged 11.4 million total viewers during its five-week run. At the end of June it passed the 1 million mark in DVD sales, making it one of the best-selling DVDs based on a TV series of all time.
UPDATE: 10:38 AM: NBC: turning to Christ to deliver it from its ratings hole. The network announced this morning it had bought the sequel to History’s hit miniseries The Bible from Mark Burnett — who also exec produces the broadcast network’s The Voice and Celebrity Apprentice. At the recent Produced By Conference, Burnett said he was working on a sequel to the 10-part miniseries that ranked as the top cable entertainment telecast of the year to date and helped make History the No. 1-ranked cable network for the month of March. “I could spend the next 10 years just distributing the Bible series” and the movie version he’s adapted, Burnett quipped happily at that confab. In this morning’s announcement, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said he followed closely the development of The Bible “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.” Greenblatt said he’d told Burnett after seeing The Bible’s opening numbers that NBC was “on board with no hesitation for the follow-up miniseries.”
The Bible opened with 13 million tuned in — about as many people as watched the opening of CBS’ Stephen King project Under The Dome — before factoring in DVR viewing on subsequent days. For No. 1-rated CBS, that is a big number – for ratings-starved NBC, it’s manna from heaven. Only two shows on NBC clocked a bigger crowd than that during the recently concluded TV season: Sunday Night Football and both nights of The Voice. In its first week of home video release, The Bible was the top-selling miniseries of all time and the No. 1 ranked TV series on DVD and Blu-ray over the past five years — surpassing 1 million units sold in the past three months.
This might give a shot of confidence to all of those Biblical-themed features, from the Darren Aronofsky-directed Noah with Russell Crowe to the upcoming Fox film Exodus, with Ridley Scott directing and Christian Bale playing Moses. Beyond the high ratings received when Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s The Bible ran on History Channel, the 10-parter has become the top-selling mini ever across Blu-ray, DVD and DigitalHD.
LOS ANGELES, CA, June 27, 2013 – THE BIBLE reached a new milestone today with 1 million units sold across Blu-ray, DVD and DigitalHD™. The epic 10-part miniseries from co-executive producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey continues to dominate records everywhere with its unprecedented sales performance. During its run, THE BIBLE propelled HISTORY® to number one in all of television from 8-10PM on Sunday nights with over 100 million viewers. THE BIBLE series will air internationally later this year, followed by its international home entertainment release.
Produced By Conference: Mark Burnett On ‘Bible’ Follow Up, Feature Version Of History Series Finished Editing
Mark Burnett is cooking up a sequel of a sort to The Bible series, but he’s keeping details of his next faith-based project to himself. “A lot of things have come our way since the Bible, that’s how the business works. Roma [Downey] and I will do a follow up to The Bible, no question to that, something big,” said Burnett today at the Produced By conference. No word if this next project on Christianity would be on the History Channel as The Bible was. The producer however did reveal that he has just finished editing a 2 hour and 15 minute feature version of the successful series focusing on the life of Jesus. He is now looking to sell it. “Just on the scripted side, I could spend the next 10 years just distributing the Bible series and the movie. I believe that in the next 15 years more people on the planet will have seen our Bible series that haven’t seen it,” added Burnett of the project he and wife Roma Downey produced with Hearst Entertainment & Syndication.
Comedians D.L. Hughley and Michael Ian Black have signed on to host the TBS original series from Mark Burnett’s One Three Media and London-based Monkey. Trust Me, I’m A Game Show Host has a bit of a twist in which the two hosts duel to deceive contestants. “This is a game show where a host is legitimately trying to convince a contestant to choose the wrong answer,” said Burnett. “D.L. and Michael’s comedic styles are perfect for pulling this off”. Hughley and Black will each present the single contestant with a bizarre and seemingly implausible fact, one of which is true, the other of which is not. The contestant must then choose the true fact to be rewarded in the game. The players who prove themselves to be super-human lie detectors will go home with a cash prize. Burnett and Monkey founders Will MacDonald and David Granger serve as executive producers. Trust Me, I’m A Game Show Host is slated to premiere in late 2013.
LOS ANGELES, CA (March 27, 2013) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today the initial slate of speakers confirmed to participate in the 5th annual Produced By Conference (PBC). Director and producer J.J. Abrams, producer Mark Burnett, actor and producer Tom Cruise and producer Gale Anne Hurd will participate as featured speakers joining a prestigious list of acclaimed producers and industry leaders in entertainment and digital media. The 2013 Produced By Conference will be hosted by 20th Century Fox Studios on June 8-9.
2013 PBC speakers include some of the entertainment and digital industries’ most renowned producers and visionaries. In alphabetical order:
The miniseries from Mark Burnett and wife Roma Downey is scoring in the ratings for History, drawing 13.1 million viewers in its premiere episode and holding strong ahead of its final episode Sunday. But that makes The Bible fair game for The Colbert Report host, who …
UPDATE: ‘The Bible’ Producers Call Controversy Over Satan’s Resemblance To President Obama “Utter Nonsense”
UPDATE, 10:15 AM: History and The Bible executive producers, husband and wife Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, just addressed the Obama-Satan controversy. “History channel has the highest respect for President Obama,” the network said in a statement. “The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors. It’s unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. History’s The Bible is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history.”
Burnett and Downey used stronger language in dismissing the connection, suggesting that the actor playing the Devil may have been simply type cast. “This is utter nonsense,” they said. “The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor. He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics — including Satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our President.” Added Downey: “Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our President, who is a fellow Christian. False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try and discredit the beauty of the story of The Bible.”
PREVIOUS 7:15 AM: History’s hit miniseries The Bible had its 3rd installment last night. It’s already been taken to task for its use of beautiful actors in all key roles. Now the project’s casting choice for the role of Satan has come under fire for the apparent resemblance of Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazzani to President Barack Obama.
Turner’s major expansion into unscripted series continues. After TNT greenlighted two new reality series in the past two days, sibling TBS today also picked up two new shows: Deal With It, executive produced by Deal Or No Deal alum Howie Mandel, and Trust Me, I’m a Game Show Host, executive produced by Mark Burnett, the hottest reality producer at the moment with The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank and Celebrity Apprentice. Trust Me was originally ordered to pilot by ABC in 2010. Both series are slated to premiere on TBS in late 2013.