“A.D.” will most likely air in spring 2015. The project has been in development since the huge success of History’s “The Bible.”
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“Last year when Mark Burnett was launching ‘The Bible’ on cable, I told him, without hesitation, that if he wanted to tell more of the story, we’d love to do it at NBC,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. “We are firmly in the ‘event’ business and nothing has more event potential than ‘A.D.’ as it continues immediately after the ‘The Bible’ ended.”
The miniseries will be produced by LightWorkers Media with Burnett, Downey and Richard Bedser serving as executive producers. Burnett also produces NBC’s biggest non-sports show, “The Voice.”
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Simon Block, a two-time BAFTA nominee for the TV movie “The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall,” will write the script. A director and cast will be announced at a later date.
The series will begin immediately where “The Bible” (pictured) left off: The first episode includes the last moments of the Crucifixion, Judas taking his own life after betraying Christ, Peter denying Jesus three times, and Jesus’ resurrection.
“You might think the story is over at the Crucifixion, but as most of the world knows, that was only the beginning,” added Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment. “Everyone’s lives were completely altered in an instant and the immediate aftermath of Christ’s death had an impact on his disciples, his mother Mary, and key political and religious leaders of the time.”
Added Burnett and Downey: “We are so thrilled to be all systems go with NBC on ‘A.D.,’ our follow-up to ‘The Bible. It is the story that changed the world. Millions have died for it and billions live by it. We know that an enormous community will be counting the days until ‘A.D.’ premieres. We look forward to making this an epic global television event.”
“The Bible” averaged 13.2 million viewers and was the third most-watched cable television series or miniseries in 2013, based on Live + 7 numbers measuring viewing over a week.
In addition to television, Downey and Burnett are working on the feature film “Son of God,” to be released by 20th Century Fox in February.