Roma Downey, America's most famous angel (actress from the "Touched by an Angel" TV series), and her TV producer husband, Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Voice, The Apprentice), have produced a miniseries based on the Bible, called (creatively enough) "The Bible."
The 10-hour series will air on the History Channel. Unlike other History Channel shows, this will not be a documentary with occasional talking heads interspersed between live action scenes with no-name actors in historical garb. This is a drama.
The series will include the best CG effects, recognizable actors (Downey herself will star as Mary, mother of Jesus), famous music artists and songwriters, and impressive film sets.
Billy Hallowell of The Blaze said, "It was fascinating to hear both Burnett and Downey highlight the importance of on-set prayer circles and their connections to God in helping to move the project along. Considering the long, five-month overseas filming process and the many Biblical details that were needed to take viewers through the world’s most impactful story, some would argue that connection to a higher power was a must-have." Read the rest of his article.
The Bible has always been a source of entertainment, as well as religious instruction. What Bible believers will want to know is whether the series is "true" to the Bible. This is always relative to one's interpretation or biblical stance, but I never expect anything that comes from the entertainment industry to accurately reflect my faith.
The series appears to be marketed to the widest possible audience, but I expect they are counting on the Christian community for the bulk of their viewers. The series on DVD can already be preordered on amazon.com, and one will also find accompanying books for children and adults.
Prediction: look for a Bible study plan based on the series. If the producers have any marketing savvy at all regarding the Christian market, they already have someone creating materials for church use in Sunday School classes and/or sermon series. Roma Downey's fame as a TV "angel" will certainly be one sharp marketing tool they will be counting on. (Just after writing this, I found that they already have such materials available.) She and her husband have been working on a few different spiritually focussed projects of late, consistent with Downey's stated desire "to spend the second act of my life doing projects that openly honor and glorify God."
As for me, I'll be watching and I hope you do as well. What I enjoy most with these endeavors is the visualization – the creative interpretations of costumes, historical settings and daily life in ancient cultures that add to my own creative imagination as I come back to the most important Book again and again.
More on the series from The Blaze.
Read a short interview with Roma Downey.