If you want more religion in your life but are too lazy to read the Bible, just go to the History Channel and find the Bible stories played out in full drama and action photography for the miracle parts of the stories. Roma Downey is an Irish actress and producer from Northern Ireland. She played kind-hearted angel Monica on the American TV series Touched by an Angel. Downey received two Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her role on the show. In the Bible episodes, she plays the role of Mary. She is also the wife of the famous reality TV mega-producer Mark Burnett who produced this show.
I guess the ultimate reality show would be to bring the stories of the Bible to video. It is a History Channel miniseries but is hardly mini since it describes stories from both the old Testament and New Testament. I think it is a great new way to get your children and grandchildren hooked onto learning about religion in a way they understand most, the movies. I hate when I go to church and see young families that bring their young kids and to keep them quiet and engaged they are literally playing in the church pews with games and dolls and anything else but religious stuff. I at least bought a comic book version of the Bible stories and my kids read that during the boring blah blah of the expressionless priest doing what he had to do for a sermon.
From the books of Genesis to Revelation, each page is expressed in full action and drama. There is Noah and his Arc, David fighting Goliath and the life and death of Jesus Christ. The show has gotten good ratings. The first night it aired it beat out everything else on TV in the ratings. The only thing that ever came as close in excitement was the 1956 movie called The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston as Moses parting the Red Sea in the miracle of special effects in Technicolor and that movie was made 50 years ago.
The couple’s teenage kids made sure that the special effects were to our great standards available today. Now the Bible has $ 22 million dollars to make it look good on video. Mark Burnett is the most successful producer on TV. Not only did he produce 26 seasons of the reality show Survivor but he also produces The Celebrity Apprentice, Shark Tank and The Voice, all very popular shows on TV. The couple has so much money that they did not need to produce The Bible but they thought they had to because even if you do not believe in this religion, the stories are fascinating and everyone should know them.
The couple is conservative and live with their teen children in Malibu, California surrounded by their 3 giant Irish Wolfhound dogs. Both were raised in religious households. Downey is a true Irish Catholic raised by the Sisters of Mercy who were tough nuns that hardly showed any mercy. Burnett found it difficult to find the right guy to play Jesus. They needed to find someone who possessed the ability to have humility and the physical presence to even look like all those pictures of Jesus we all are used to seeing. They found all that in a Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado.
They shot the scenes over a five month period in Morocco on the edge of the Sahara Desert and brought in more than 40 biblical scholars and theologians to help in the research. After all, there are many people all over the world that have read and re-read this book over and over again. They know the stories well. They have also promoted the TV series in front of the congregations of some very famous and successful preachers like Evangelical Pastor Joel Osteen.
Mark Burnett has another TV hit with this one but with all the money he is making from this show, the most gratifying thing he has is the knowledge that he has produced something of value to the world, the stories of The Bible real and vivid on TV.