Miniseries 'The Bible' aims to 'tell the stories as written,' producer says
By Bill Keveney
Published: Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, 9:02 p.m.
Famed TV producer Mark Burnett tackles his projects with passion, but “The Bible” is a special labor of love.
The 10-hour, five-part docudrama, which will premiere March 3 on the History Channel, will span the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, presenting some of its best-known stories, including Noah's Ark, the Exodus, Daniel in the lions' den and the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Former “Touched By an Angel” star Roma Downey, Burnett's wife and fellow executive producer, heads a large international cast in the role of Mother Mary. Keith David, an Emmy winner for voice-over performances, will narrate with a musical score by Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer Hans Zimmer.
“In terms of importance, nothing we've ever done, not ‘Touched By an Angel,' not ‘Survivor,' not ‘The Voice,' not ‘The Apprentice' — none of this could possibly compare to ‘The Bible,' ” Burnett says. “To us, as a family, we love the Bible. This is not a TV show to us. It's images and sound and sacred text that people will still watch, way after our grandchildren are old people.”
Because the entire Bible can't be covered in 10 hours, the miniseries, which was filmed in Morocco, focuses on a select group of stories and features such compelling figures as Abraham, Moses and David. Some stories had to be compressed for artistic purposes.
“What we've done is a grand narrative of emotionally connected stories,” Burnett says. “We know we're not qualified to teach the Bible. We're qualified to be good television producers and storytellers.”
He hopes the project brings comfort after the Sandy Hook school shootings, “absolutely the saddest tragedy imaginable. ... We hope ‘The Bible,' by shedding some light into the world, can help in some small way to try and stop the darkness.”
Downey came up with the idea for the miniseries a few years ago. “It is our obligation to tell the stories as written,” Burnett says. “The stories are so brilliant and compelling.”
The project will have broad appeal, he says. “If you know the Bible, you'll enjoy seeing the stories come to life. If you've never read the Bible, I think you'll love the stories,” he says. “There's a reason the Bible is the most widely read book in the world.”
Bill Keveney is a staff writer for USA Today.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- UFO, Bigfoot encounters to be discussed at Connellsville library program
- Donald turns down New York invite for NFL Draft
- Pens insider: Penalty killing a concern in Stanley Cup playoffs
- Chat with Dejan Kovacevic: April 18, 2014
- Man found fatally shot in Larimer a mile away from Homewood peace march
- ‘Going downtown’ with dad, mom in ’50s among Connellsville native’s treasured memories
- Crash victim dies day after ‘horrific’ wreck in Armstrong County
- Chef named for Pittsburgh’s new Kimpton hotel restaurant
- Kovacevic: Panic over Pirates? In April?
- Resurfacing part of Route 119 on list of PennDOT projects in Connellsville area
- Undersized rookie Gibbons is blur on ice for Penguins