Major British TV Network Buys Rights to 'The Bible' Miniseries

The immense success of the History Channel's "The Bible" miniseries has caused a major United Kingdom television network to purchase rights to the series so that it may air episode reruns beginning in fall 2013.

"The show has been nothing short of a sensation, watched by millions of people in the states. To have it on Channel 5 is incredibly exciting – these are stories that can't fail to draw you in," Marie-Claire Dunlop, Acquisitions & Channel Manager for Channel 5, which is considered to be the fifth largest television network in the U.K., said in a statement.

According to The Independent, Channel 5's decision to air "The Bible" proves uncharacteristic, as the predominately-entertainment focused network, which is owned by well-known British businessman Richard Desmond, usually airs such show as "Celebrity Big Brother," "Neighbours," and "Home and Away."

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According to The Telegraph, the Channel 5 network rakes in 4 to 5 million viewers for its most popular shows, which include "Celebrity Big Brother" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."

"The Bible" miniseries, which was produced by Mark Burnett of "Survivor" fame and Roma Downey, reached record-breaking ratings in its 10-hour series, which spanned the month of March and covered stories in both the Old and New Testaments.

"Channel 5 has a long history of bringing the most compelling series to the U.K. audience. We think [Channel] 5 is the perfect home for 'The Bible' and look forward to the show drawing a huge audience like it has in the U.S. and around the world," C. Scot Cru, senior vice president of Burnett's One Three Media production company, said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"The Bible" has received immense ratings since it first premiered on March 3, when it received over 13 million viewers, making it the most watched telecast of 2013.

The miniseries maintained its high ratings throughout its episodes, and finished strong with its Easter Sunday finale, which raked it a viewership of 11.7 million viewers.

The success of the miniseries made the History Channel the most watched cable network for the month of March.

British-born producer and Christian Mark Burnett has previously said that his ultimate goal in creating "The Bible" miniseries was to further educate viewers on the teachings of the Bible.

"I think it's the underpinning of the greatest storytelling in the history of the world," Burnett said of the series last year.

"It's very likely to be the biggest thing I've worked on in my life, and seen by more people than all my other shows put together," Burnett added.

"The Bible" was also released this week on DVD, and according Entertainment Weekly, it ranked as the fastest-selling TV title released on DVD in the past five years, as well as the fastest-selling miniseries title ever during its first week of DVD release.

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