"A.D. The Bible Continues" creators Roma Downey and Mark Burnett recently made an appearance at David Jeremiah's Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, where they discussed their upcoming series as well as their successful miniseries "The Bible" and the TV show "Shark Tank."
Burnett noted that the series projects he's involved in are family friendly, and celebrated the fact that "Shark Tank" and "The Bible" represent what he believes to be the very foundation of American civilization.
"Interestingly enough, I often joke that America was built on two things: the Bible and free enterprise," Burnett told the congregation at Jeremiah's church on March 12. "Well, we made 'The Bible' and we make 'Shark Tank.'"
"The Bible" was a high-budget retelling of many of the stories in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation while "Shark Tank" is a series that features up and coming entrepreneurs looking to strike a deal with the "sharks" who are millionaires and billionaires willing to invest money in smaller companies.
Jeremiah celebrated the couple's work in Hollywood with a giant three-panel screen backdrop at the church that displayed pictures of all the shows they've been a part of over the years, including "Touched by an Angel," which made actress Roma Downey a star in the 1990s.
Downey described her time on the series as a "privilege" and was thankful for the opportunity to star in the series that featured angels carrying out the will of God.
"What a privilege it was as a believer to be a messenger and to deliver a message every week to millions of Americans that there is a God, that He loves you, and that He wants to be part of your life," Downey said.
She explained that one of the best experiences while filming the series was stopping the shoot to pray before what she described as the "angel revelation scene" where the angels shed their secret identities and revealed themselves to the humans.
"It was an extraordinary time, and I have to say, Hollywood gets a bad rap," Downey continued. "I think there's a lot of good people there and a lot of good people doing good work. While shooting 'Touched by an Angel' it was unusual perhaps for a Hollywood set that we would gather hands before those scenes and we would pray — pray that there would be less of us and there would be more of God, and that there would be an opportunity through the camera that the Holy Spirit could move through the camera and touch people's hearts."
Downey and Burnett also took time to talk about their upcoming series "A.D: The Bible Continues" and how their goal was to accuractly reflect events in the Bible as much as possible.
Burnett also criticized some of the more recent faith-based films, including "Exodus: Gods and Kings" and "Noah."
"If you look at 'Noah' and 'Exodus,' these are big expensive movies, well-made movies that have really great actors. But for whatever reason some people decided to change the story and it just shows — you can't just make something that's got a biblical name and do what you want with it, you certainly wouldn't go out there and change Shakespeare, would you?" Burnett asked.
"So I don't know why it seems OK to change the Bible. And clearly, they lost money on those movies. 'A.D.' is 50 percent of Acts and 50 percent of historical stuff around it."
Burnett emphasized that biblical accuracy is essential, but also that their mission with "A.D." is to not only inspire believers, but also to spark the interest in the Bible for a secular audience.
You can watch Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's interview with pastor David Jeremiah here.