- (Photo: Grace Hill Media)
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey joined a national conference call with religious leaders including Jim Daly and Rick Warren celebrating the "Bible" series on Thursday.
The conversation recognized the incredible success of the "Bible" series, which became the most-watched television premiere of the year last Sunday as it debuted on The History Channel.
Encouraging the husband-and-wife team, pastor of Saddleback Church Warren opened the conference call with a prayer before thanking Burnett and Downey for creating the 10-part epic television series.
"I wanna thank Mark and Roma for doing this, and for doing it right as we lead up to Easter," said Warren.
The pastor recounted two great awakenings in American history, and that projects such as the "Bible" series could lead to another spiritual revival.
"This might just be the tool, so I am going to pray," said Warren.
"I think it's interesting that while this is going on the cardinals are gathering, entering a conclave to choose a new pope, I am going to be praying and fasting, It is a time when the church is in the news, and that's good thing and we ought to capitalize on it," Warren added.
Furthermore, Downey explained that she and her husband felt compelled to create the series and expressed her heartfelt thanks for the support and viewership it garnered last Sunday.
"From the moment God placed this in our hearts, Mark and I have prayed every step of the way," said the actress.
"It has been phenomenal this week. We got over 13 million people [Sunday night]. It was on everybody's lips," Downey continued. "It was trending on Twitter, people are talking about the Bible."
The "Touched by an Angel" Star jokingly recalled her favorite headline from the past week- CNN's "God beats zombies," which was a report on the "Bible" beating "The Walking Dead" in ratings on Sunday night.
"People are hungry for God, people are hungry for purpose and meaning in their life," Downey added.
Alternately, Burnett also eagerly thanked the pastors and all of those who supported the "Bible" series. The "Survivor" creator and television mogul also referred to the divine intervention he and hundreds of others experienced on the set of the series.
"We knew all these things kept happening through prayer, the secular [press] can make all the fun of me they want, the hand of God is with us, prayer works, and that's what's important," professed Burnett. "God is at work."
"It's like a 10-hour commercial to go to church," Burnett added of the series.
Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, added that watching the "Bible" series provides and great opportunity for the entire family.
"The whole narrative is about family," said Daly. "Parents are troubled by Hollywood. It's wonderful that Mark and Roma have helped those parents in creating a series on the Bible that they can be proud of!"
Daly noted that the story presented in the series even appeals to skeptical teenagers.
"The special effects, the way the story is presented, the care and detail that went into the sets- it's wonderful, and it opens the heart, and you can start talking about [the Bible]," said the evangelist. "I want to thank [Burnett and Downey] for starting the conversation."
Episode two of the "Bible" series will feature the stories of Sampson, Saul, and David. It begins on The History Channel this Sunday at 8 p.m. EST.