More than 80 million viewers have tuned in to the 10-hour mini series chronicling the stories in the most popular book in human history, making The Bible on The History Channel one of the most-watched cable shows this month.
With the two-hour series finale airing this Easter Sunday, executive producer Mark Burnett called in to the K-EARTH 101 Morning Show to talk about taking on this ambitious series about the book he “absolutely, one hundred percent” believes in.
Spearheaded by Mark and his wife Roma Downey, who also stars in the series as Mother Mary, the idea of creating a mini series based on The Bible was first brought up by his wife.
“My first response what ‘whoa, Roma, the whole Bible? That’s really, really daunting’,” Mark told Gary Bryan and Lisa Stanley. “She prayed about it, I prayed about it and we realized we’ve been put in a position in the business to do certain things and this is something we need to do.”
After raising a budget of $22 million, the production spent more than five months in the Moroccan desert shooting the series. Mark tells us that while shooting several scenes, the cast and crew experienced numerous other-worldly events.
“We firmly believe the hand of God was on this production and allowed us to make it this way,” said Mark. He added that one scene in particular really gave the cast and crew shivers.
While shooting the scene when Nicodemus talks with Jesus about seeing the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus replies that he must be born again saying to Nicodemus he must be “born in spirit, it’s like the wind.” It’s when that line was said, the crew experience something out of the ordinary.
“When he said that, a still Moroccan desert night, a wind came out of no where as if on cue,” said Mark. “We just knew that this was not an ordinary wind. It blew through right when [Jesus] was about to say John 3:16.”
Timing out with Easter Sunday, the series finale chronicles the crucifixion of Jesus, resurrection and ascension into Heaven. Mark adds that for the first time ever on TV, The Bible will also show the Pentecost before going right to the book of Revelations.
“At times it’s hard to watch, I must say that to our listeners,” warns Mark. “The crucifixion and resurrection is the whole point of Easter Sunday.”
Growing up in Europe, Mark notes that all schools teach students about the history of The Bible and believes that it should be something covered in U.S. schools. He hopes that this mini-series is a step towards educating more about the history and teachings of the Bible.
“Hopefully this ten hour series is like an introduction to the Bible. It’s a TV series, which will at least give some information, people will enjoy it and maybe seek more information. That’s all we’re trying to do and it’s worked,” said Mark.
If you’ve missed the Bible series on the History Channel, Mark notes that you can buy the whole series on DVD out on April 2nd.
The season finale of The Bible airs this Easter Sunday on History at 8 p.m. Listen to our entire interview with Mark below.