'The Bible' Still Most Watched Show With Over 10 Million Viewers

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  • the bible Mary Magdalene and Jesus
    (Photo Credit: Joe Alblas)
    Mary Magdalene and Jesus in a scene from The History Channel's "The Bible" on Sunday, March 24, 2013.
By Katherine Weber, Christian Post Reporter
March 26, 2013|3:51 pm

In its fourth week, the History Channel's "The Bible" miniseries has maintained strong ratings above 10 million viewers, continuing to hold the title of most watched television program from 8 p.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday evenings.

The fourth episode of the 10-part miniseries drew 10.3 million viewers, a slightly softer number than its week three ratings of 10.9 million.

Still, the show managed to successfully tap into the key demographic of 3.4 million viewers ages 18-49.

This past Sunday's episode also received a viewership of 3.9 million for adults ages 25-54.

The miniseries, which was produced by Mark Burnett of "Survivor" fame and Roma Downey of "Touched by an Angel," has managed to hold high ratings since its premiere on March 3, during which the show was viewed by a record-breaking audience of over 13 million, while in its second week it drew 10.8 million viewers.

Some are attributing the slight fall in "The Bible" ratings this week to a recent controversy regarding President Barack Obama, when many took to social media platforms such as Twitter to suggest that the character playing Satan in the third episode of the series bore a striking resemblance to the president.

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The producers, as well as the actors of the miniseries dismissed this comparison, arguing that it takes away from the true message being conveyed in "The Bible."

Roma Downey, who plays the character of the Virgin Mary in the series, issued a statement calling the Obama claims "utter nonsense."

"Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our President, who is a fellow Christian. False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try and discredit the beauty of the story of the Bible," Downey said.

Additionally, Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado, who plays Jesus in the miniseries, laughed off the claims that Satan, played by Moroccan actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, resembles Obama.

"I don't think that's controversial at all, I think that's so funny," Morgado told The Hollywood Reporter in a previous interview, adding that he believes this recent controversy proves the show's popularity because viewers are choosing to focus on "silly things."

Phil Cooke, a Hollywood filmmaker and media consultant who also carries a Ph.D. in theology, wrote in a recent article for The Huffington Post that the mega-success of the miniseries can be chalked up to three reasons: it's unifying, it's agenda-free, and it manages to not only have good individual plots but also tells "the meta-narrative of God and how he deals with humanity."

"The Bible" miniseries will conclude this Easter Sunday, March 31, with an episode featuring the death, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus.

 

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