(Photo: Joe Alblas)
Producer Mark Burnett's highly popular "The Bible" miniseries, which appeared on The History Channel in the United States earlier this year, will be debuting on Australia's Channel 9 on Tuesday evening.
Channel 9 will be screening two episodes of the 10-part miniseries at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, and critics contend that the country's television network hopes to achieve ratings comparable to those seen in the U.S.
The miniseries, which ran in the U.S. during the month of March, attracted 13 million viewers in its debut episode, making it the most watched entertainment television show of the year at the time.
Producer Mark Burnett, a devout Christian who has previously produced hit shows such as "Shark Tank" and "Celebrity Apprentice," said in a recent interview with Australia's APN that the main goal of the miniseries is to keep people talking about the religious text.
"It would be very odd if someone walked up to you and said 'let's talk about the Bible'. You'd probably be taken aback," Burnett told APN in a recent phone interview from Los Angeles, Calif.
"But if they come up and say 'did you see that Bible series? Let's talk about that' then you'd be much more open to discuss it," Burnett continued. "There might be some slight inaccuracies or additions here and there, but that is to make it a connective story for TV. The outcome is a giving of permission for people to discuss the Bible and connect more."
The well-known producer, who created "The Bible" with his wife Roma Downey, added that he believes all people, not just Christians, will be able to connect to the miniseries because it takes a very relatable approach to the telling of the biblical story.
"It's gory, bloody, dirty. The actors don't look like they stepped out of a dry cleaner's," Burnett said.
Additionally, Mark Reddy, CEO of Christian Media Australia, encouraged Christians in the country to watch the miniseries.
"We believe 'The Bible' series is a significant opportunity to get the gospel out in Australia and we therefore need to get behind it and make the first night screening a success," Reddy said, according to the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. "We want to encourage every Christian in Australia to get behind the series and show Channel 9 that the Christian audience has a strong voice in this country. As Christian leaders in our community we need to do all that we can to get behind this great series, and make a significant mark on the ratings."
The miniseries, which was filmed over five months in Morocco, received widespread attention in the U.S. even after it stopped airing, with repeat episodes gaining a reported 3.5 million viewers per night.
Additionally, the miniseries broke DVD records by becoming the top selling DVD series ever in its first week of release in April with 525,000 copies sold.