Jesus Returns To TV In A History Channel Special “Jesus: His Life” by Randolph Jason – Gospel News Network
For those of us following Jesus this sounds like a win-win TV show. So much of TV is simply unwatchable today it is refreshing to see the History channel go against the grain, again. I say again because of History Channels earlier release of “The Bible” was one of the top shows to air on the small screen. I feel confident History channel is hoping for a repeat of what happened with the miniseries The Bible as it was the largest TV audience in 2013.
The series is Mark Burnett’s first scripted project. In addition to Burnett and Downey, executive producers include Richard Bedser and History’s Dirk Hoogstra and Julian P. Hobbs. The first episode of the mini-series was seen by 13.1 million viewers, the largest cable television audience of 2013 to date. The second installment continued “to deliver blockbuster ratings” for the network, attracting 10.8 million viewers. The third installment on March 17, 2013 was once again the No. 1 show on all of Sunday night television with 10.9 million total viewers. In addition, the series garnered 4.2 million adults 25–54 and 3.5 million adults 18–49. In total, with subsequent airings, The Bible has received more than 100 million cumulative views. Source
If “Jesus: His Life” garners number like above it will probably be the biggest TV program in 2019. I’m going out on a limb right now, two months ahead of the airing of the first episode, and claiming it will make 2013 numbers look like bottom-of-the-barrel ratings. One thing is certain, it will be a measure of the health of the Christian community in the U.S. as the ratings should be a direct reflection of what people are interested in having fill their homes. I feel confident people have had their fill of the “alternative” lifestyles programming that is continually shoved down our throats and having a respite will be welcomed by millions.
Each figure takes a turn guiding viewers through the emotional and epic story of the most famous man in history, through his birth, death and resurrection, all conveyed through a combination of scripted drama and interviews with prominent religious and historical experts. Utilizing some of the world’s most respected Biblical scholars, historians, faith leaders and theologians, the series weaves together the canonical Gospels, historical sources and cultural context to create a complete portrait of Jesus – the man and the Messiah. The series reveals his journey through a complex world of kings, politicians, reformers and soldiers in a turbulent power struggle during a time of revolutionary change. “Jesus: His Life” brings viewers into this dramatic world to reveal the greatest story ever told. The series premieres two episodes back-to-back weekly beginning on Monday, March 25 at 8pm ET/PT, with the finale airing just before Easter. A+E Networks holds exclusive worldwide distribution rights for the series which is produced by Nutopia.
“‘Jesus: His Life’ brings together some of the world’s top scholars, historians and faith leaders from diverse ideological and theological perspectives to tell the story of Jesus in a new way,” said Mary Donahue, SVP, Programming and Development for HISTORY. “Viewers will see and experience the life of Jesus as never before, through this powerful and thought-provoking portrait of a man who is one of the most influential people in human history.” Source
With the presentation coming from a multitude of directions this miniseries should capture the attention of both the Christian and secular communities. Anyone with an interest in history will probably tune in for the politics, war and community talking points, which it sounds like there will be many. With Jesus being the “most famous man in history” who wouldn’t want to watch the latest covering the every aspect of His life and the communities He traveled?
My guess is most of Generation Z and the Boomers will watch in groups at church, homes or schools around the country as these two generations seem to have the strongest Christian base. The Millennials, Generation X and Y are coming along, but according to some statistics, their interest lay in more worldly “things”. Look for a “Jesus: His Life” watch party in your neighborhood.