NEW YORK — Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, creators of "A.D. The Bible Continues," have not shied away from pointing out that their new series includes an "accomplished cast hailing from more than 10 different nations." But that is because the couple has also acknowledged that they "could have done a better job in hiring a diverse cast" for their 2013 ratings blockbuster, "The Bible."
Although "The Bible" series "made strides ... we needed to see more of the diversity of the church," Barbara Williams-Skinner said during a diversity chat on Twitter last week. "For too long religious programming has neither reflected the look of biblical times (nor) the diversity of the church today."
"We made this point to Mark and Roma after ("The Bible"), and quite frankly they listened. I'm glad for that," she added. more >>
NEW YORK — Vincent Regan, whose extensive resume includes roles in more than a few historical and mythological blockbusters, appears in the new "A.D." series as Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who ordered Jesus' crucifixion. The stage and screen star, a former Roman Catholic who identifies as agnostic, breaks down his character and his views on Christ and explains why he is smitten with the pope.
Regan has starred in numerous British television series and a long list of feature films, but is better known for his roles as a man of war in "300" and "Troy."
This time around, the U.K. veteran is all about keeping the peace, albeit still with a sword, in NBC's "A.D. The Bible Continues." more >>
A female archdeacon belonging to the Church of England will soon be promoted to the position of a senior bishop, breaking new ground in the prominence of women in the Church of England.
The Ven. Rachel Treweek, a former speech therapist ordained in 1994, will become the head of the Diocese of Gloucester.
Comedian Larry Wilmore, host of Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show," criticized and poked fun at the actions of pastor Creflo Dollar — who last week asked Christian followers to buy his ministry a new $65 million jet — and other "prosperity gospel" preachers as part of his opening segment on Wednesday night's show.
The former "Daily Show" cast member lampooned Dollar and megachurch pastors who preach the prosperity gospel, suggesting that they've gone too far and are "taking advantage of poor people."
"When exactly did Jesus start a hip-hop label?" asked Wilmore, referencing Dollar's recent effort to have people pay for a $65 million private jet. more >>
Actor Nick Searcy from the hit television series "Justified" will be directing a film about infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell who was sentenced to life in prison for committing crimes of infanticide and involuntary manslaughter inside his West Philadelphia abortion clinic.
"There are three aspects to this story that are fascinating — what happened; why it was allowed to happen; and why no one wanted to talk about it after it happened," said Searcy, who plays the role of U.S. Marshal Art Mullen in the FX series, and will direct the $2.2 million crowdfunded film project about Gosnell's "house of horrors" late-term abortion facility.
On May 13, 2013, Gosnell was sentenced to serve life in prison without parole for three counts of first-degree murder for killing babies born alive in his abortion clinic by cutting their spinal cords with scissors. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old Nepalese refugee who died from a Demerol overdose administered by his untrained and unlicensed staff. more >>
A Michigan mayor has announced that his office will distribute "In God We Trust" posters after losing a court battle wherein he must allow an atheist group to set up a "Reason Station" at a public facility.
Warren Mayor James Fouts said earlier this week that he'll join the movement to advance the national motto, which is found on U.S. currency and some government buildings.
The announcement comes one month after Warren was compelled to have a "reason station" placed at the publicly operated Warren Civic Center. more >>