home
RSS
Reality TV Goliath takes up Bible miniseries challenge, hopes for better outcome
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey on the set of "The Bible," the 10-hour miniseries Burnett produced and directed.
March 2nd, 2013
11:00 PM ET

Reality TV Goliath takes up Bible miniseries challenge, hopes for better outcome

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

(CNN) - Mark Burnett is the king of reality television. His shows and spinoffs command hours of prime-time television real estate. The seal of his production company One Three Media appears at the end of “Survivor,” “The Voice,” “The Apprentice,” “Shark Tank,” “The Job” and “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?”

He will tell you each show was No. 1 in the time slot. He will tell you he will take on all comers in his bare-knuckle, ratings-driven world and beat them. He will tell you on any given day he has 150 video-editing systems churning through edits on his dossier, which spans the three major broadcast networks.

But if you suggest he may not have the chops to take on a massive scripted dramatic presentation of the Bible as a 10-hour miniseries, his eyes will tell you he wants to throttle you.

My bad.

Burnett and wife, Roma Downey, have been barnstorming the country like roving preachers on horseback trying to evangelize the West. Their gospel is spreading the news of “The Bible” - their ambitious project that aims to tell the story of the Bible in 10 installments. It begins its weeklong premiere on the History Channel Sunday night.

We met in the lobby of the Washington Hilton the night before last month’s National Prayer Breakfast. They were in town to speak to Washington journalists and show clips from their project.

Burnett and Downey’s project tackles the narrative of the Bible, a story woven through 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament. It’s a story revered by billions as divine revelation – and one they’ve compressed into 10 hours of television. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot.

Many have taken aim at dramatizing the stories of the Bible. Few of those productions stood the test of time. They knew all that going in 3 1/2 years ago when “the light bulb went off,” as Downey puts it.

“It’s been a great fun journey right, Roma?” Burnett said to his wife of nearly six years.

“And we’re still talking to each other,” Downey said, smiling.

Both Downey and Burnett were raised Catholic, Burnett in England and Downey in Ireland. They still regularly attend Mass in Los Angeles. Growing up, both watched the classic Biblical films that the Hollywood of yesteryear churned out, like “The Ten Commandments” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

“In Ireland, we used to sit up and wait for John Wayne to say, ‘Surely that man was the Son of God,’ at the end of 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' every Easter,” Downey said, with her thick Irish brogue dipping into a delightfully terrible John Wayne impersonation.

After showing their kids "The Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston, their three teenagers had one request for the Bible project. They told their parents, “Please don’t make it lame.”

Making it work

The project is personal for Burnett and Downey, coming from a deep spiritual desire for more people to see and experience the stories of their faith. As Europeans, now naturalized U.S. citizens, they are stunned the Bible is not taught in public schools.

“It was time for an updating. Adding fresh visual life to a sacred text,” Burnett said.

“People have great hearts and great knowledge but no experience of filmmaking and no budgets,” Burnett said of past telling of the stories on film and television.

“Or the resources,” Downey chimed in. “We wanted to create something that was gritty and authentic. We certainly didn’t want everyone to look like they stepped out of the dry cleaners.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wir4fH6hUxw&list=UUt_Q-xP9pUFpalCF-e_ZhtA&index=18]

Burnett and Downey may not have been high on the list of many studios as producers and directors to put a massive scripted project like this together. "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" starring Donald Trump and Gary Busey is not exactly" Ben-Hur," and Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green spinning in chairs on the singing competition "The Voice" isn’t often (or ever) compared to the "Ten Commandments."

When I asked Burnett about this, he seemed genuinely insulted.

“Based on viewership, maybe I should be giving a few lessons to the people who are doing stories. Because we have five nights of No. 1 wins on prime-time television,” he started. “As a family we’ve made over 2,000 hours of American television and 8,000 worldwide.”

As he cooled down, ticking off a list of reasons why he and his wife were best suited for the job, he delved into how this project was made.

The production, he insisted, was a lot more like the production that goes into "Survivor" than nearly any feature film or television show in production.

"Survivor" typically includes a cast and crew of 400 people in a remote location with multiple helicopters and boats.

To film the Bible series, they set off for the southern tip of Morocco in Africa with a similar-size crew and hundreds of extras. Not to mention the chariots and horses.

“It was epic,” Downey said.

“Our experience with large-scale productions was very, very important,” Burnett said.

To help further bring the story to life, they brought in Lola, an Oscar-winning CGI team from London who created similar scenes for the film "Gladiator."

They went with an international ensemble for the cast because they didn’t want to distract the audience with recognizable celebrities.

Jesus was played by Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado. Many other actors came from the Theatre District in London.

An actor portrays an Egyptian slave driver in 'The Bible' miniseries

Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus in 'The Bible' miniseries

The most recognizable face to most in North America will be Downey herself, who stepped into the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary is portrayed in the series as a young woman at the Nativity, then later in life.

“It was a privilege to play it,” Downey said. For nine seasons, Downey starred in the CBS show “Touched by an Angel,” then went on to star in a number of TV movies.

“The scripts at one point just said Young Mary, and then as the scripts progressed it said Old Mary. I said, ‘OK, we have to change that right now.’ The last thing I need to see is ‘Old Mary’ played by Roma Downey,” she said with a laugh. “So we changed it to Mother Mary.”

The budget for the 10 hours was under $22 million, Burnett said, a small price tag for a production on such a grand scale. (NBC paid $4 million per episode for the show “Smash” this season, according to an estimate by the New York Times)

“It’s not easy, even for us, to sell and get placed on prime time television, 10 hours – Genesis to Revelation,” Burnett said. “Do we wish we had 25 or 100 [hours], yes but we got 10. We got a great budget. It looks like it’s a $200 million movie. Of course it’s not. It’s just our combined experiences, our hearts and efforts that make it look like that.”

Getting it right

As they considered which parts of the Bible to shoot, they had to pare down hundreds of stories.

“The first decision was, it’s one story,” Burnett said. “It’s not a series of unconnected stories, it’s one grand narrative.”

“You could call it the meta narrative.”

The series encompasses five hours of the Old Testament and five hours of the New Testament.

They took many artistic liberties to compress the story lines while hoping to remain true to the story.

A public relations manager for the project described the liberties to me as “extra-biblical but not contra-biblical.”

For instance, in the series opener, the Book of Genesis stories of Adam and Eve and Noah unfold together. Noah and his family are already on the ark while the flood waters batter their boat. To calm his family, Noah tells them the story of creation: “In the beginning! ... ” Noah bellows as he runs around plugging leaks and comforting his family and the animals.

An actor portrays an Egyptian slave driver in 'The Bible' miniseries

An actor portrays an Egyptian slave driver in 'The Bible' miniseries

Similarly, in the story of David and Goliath, when David heads out to face the giant Philistine foe, he clutches his sling and quietly begins to recite the 23rd Psalm, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.” David is considered the author of the psalm, but nowhere in the text of the David and Goliath story does it address what he said as he walked out to battle and slay Goliath.

The dialogue in much of the story is similarly constructed along the lines of the bare-bones text. When Jesus calls Peter to be his disciple, Peter asks, “What are we going to do?” Jesus answers, “We’re going to change the world.” Those lines never appear in the Gospel accounts, but Burnett and Downey insist it is consistent with the text.

“Every step of the way we’ve had scholars and theologians working with us,” Downey said.

Burnett and Downey consulted a wide range of pastors and academics, including a major evangelical leader and a Catholic cardinal.

Their advisory panel consisted of many people from varied backgrounds familiar with sharing the stories of the Bible rather than of a "who’s who" of Biblical academics.

Joel Osteen, a popular television preacher and pastor of the 30,000-member Lakewood church in Houston, was among those consulted. Osteen and Burnett are friends and were developing a television series together that went on the back burner during the production of this series. Osteen even took his family to Morocco during some of the filming.

“[Burnett] would send scripts our way and ask doctrinal or Bible questions about it, but a lot of it was a friendship and an advisory role,” Osteen said.

CNN Belief: Five things we learned from Joel Osteen's visit

Osteen said much of his work was confirming if the extrabiblical material stayed true to the Bible.

His encouragement to Burnett was to “use your creativity to fill in between the lines.”

Another consultant was Rabbi Joshua Garroway, an assistant professor at the Hebrew Union College and an expert on early Christianity and the Second Jewish commonwealth (circa 530 B.C. to 70 A.D.) Judaism. He was a paid consultant on the project.

“One of the issues that came up frequently in the comments was the goal of the production was to remain faithful, or at least as faithful as possible, to the narrative and text of the Bible, as opposed to a historical critical approach,” he said.

“The series is not meant to be a historical feature but as a representation of the biblical narrative which is at times historical and at times not,” Garroway said.

One reason Garroway thought he was brought in was because in parts of the New Testament, “there are less than generous depictions of Jews, Jewish leaders and Jewish traditions.”

One of several Jewish scholars involved, his role as a New Testament scholar was to help the production stay faithful to the text but also “diminish as much as possible scenes or statements that could be construed as overly negative toward Jews and Jewish judgment.”

While he thinks the project has an overall Christian orientation, “I think they did well.”

“I don’t think it will run into the same problems that Mel Gibson’s movie ("The Passion of the Christ") did because the producers have been somewhat conscientious about forestalling some of the things that could produce that effect in the Jewish community,” he said, referring to perceptions of anti-Semitism from the 2004 film.

Osteen thinks the project will have a lasting impact in churches. He plans to use pieces of the project in his services to help illustrate points he’ll make in his sermons.

“I know I’m biased because I’m their friend, but I think it’ll be something that will live on for generations because it’s done with excellence, not knocking anything else, it’s just this is production 50 years past where some of the other films were made,” he said.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Burnett and Downey also think this project will be their most lasting and most viewed.

Burnett said the couple have deferred all their fees for the project. They probably don’t need the money anyway. Forbes lists Burnett as among its 100 highest-earning celebrities with an estimated income of $55 million in 2012.

While the History Channel owns the exclusive North American rights to the project, Burnett and Downey own the rights to global distribution and theatrical airings, which are in the works. There is also a book tie-in, games and apps attached to the project.

For the couple, the project was not about turning a profit, though they likely will. Instead, it was about bringing new life to the stories of their faith for a new audience.

“Will it be screened in movie theaters? Yes, for sure. "Already been approached. Arenas, churches, every way you can imagine,” Burnett said.

Burnett ticked through the shows he and Downey have put together over the years. “Over the next 25 years," he said, "more people will see this than all the others combined.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Catholic Church • Christianity • Entertainment • TV

soundoff (2,068 Responses)
  1. MagicPanties

    Next up – True Stories Of Unicorns

    March 3, 2013 at 8:30 am |
  2. Lou

    Was Jesus Born in a House or a Manger?

    Matthew 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
    In a house.

    Luke 2:7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
    In a manger. There was no room in the inn.

    March 3, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • End Religion

      "Take gravity, for example: the force of attraction between massive particles. We know a great deal about the properties of gravity, yet we know nothing about the cause of the force itself. Why are particles attracted to one other? If we review the literature, we find a lot of material dealing with the properties of gravity, but very little dealing with the underlying cause of this attraction. Until we have a proven answer to this question, it seems irresponsible to instruct students in what is, ultimately, just a theory. However, if we must discuss the theory of gravity at all, then it's reasonable that all suggested theories should be given equal time, since none have been proven or disproven. Therefore, I formally submit that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is behind this strange and often misunderstood force.

      What if it is He, pushing us down with His Noodly Appendages, that causes this force? He is invisible, remember, and is undetectable by current instruments, so in theory it is possible. And the fact that the gravitational powers of the Spaghetti Monster haven't been disproven makes it all the more likely to be true. We can only guess as to His motives, but it's logical to assume that if He is going to such trouble, there is a good reason. It could be that He doesn't want us floating off earth into space, or maybe just that He enjoys touching us—we may never know(1)."
      – Gospel of FSM

      (1) It would appear that midgets receive the most FSM touching—thus placing them on a pedestal in His eyes.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Dana

      That's like trying to figure out how Santa gets to all of the houses in one night.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • One one

      According to John, Jesus' last words were "It is finished". According to Luke, Jesus' last words before dying on the cross were "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!", an expression of confidence. But According to Matthew and Mark, Jesus' last words before dying on the cross were "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?", an expression of doubt.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:36 am |
  3. Dana

    We know now that the universe was not created a few thousand years ago.
    We know now that the universe was not created in a week.
    We know now that people evolved and did not come from magical ribs.
    We know now that there are no talking snakes, people that walk on water, rise from the dead, etc.
    Why are there still people that believe in all of this nonsense?
    What is so horrible about your life that you are clinging to the belief that there is going to be another one?

    March 3, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • MagicPanties

      childhood brainwashing

      Without forced indoctrination, with full consent of parents, organized religion would rapidly diminish.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Mnm

      Or it could be that we DON'T know any of those things you claim and that a certain segment of the population WANT to believe it. As the bible puts it "people will choose teachers for themselves in order to have their ears tickled".
      The evidence shows that mankind is very young and that the earth (in the condition that we find it today at least) is also very young. You choose to believe the word of scientists and others who claim that evolution and atheism are the path of enlightenment. I choose to believe in the opposite view and agree with the opinions of scientists and others who claim that the universe was created.
      I've read the bible and I've studied evolution and science on both sides to try and figure out which was more likely. Can you say the same?

      March 3, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      MnM
      Yes I have studied from both sides. There are no actual scientists that say the earth was created....none.
      The only ones who do are creation scientists, who are not actual scientists as their base premises are based in a fictional work, and they twist information to fit the bible, rather than let the data adjust your theory as with actual scientists.

      March 3, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Mnm

      Nice reasoning. Every scientist that believes in creation is a "creation scientist". Do you realize how flawed your thinking is? You've been througoughly brainwashed to think the only opinions that matter are the opinions of people who believe what you believe. There is a lot more evidence in favour of creation then evolution. Why do they find C14 in coal consistently? Why do our genetics all link back to one woman? WHy is it that everything we know about population growth shows that mankind in general could only be a few thousand years old? I'm sure for everyone one of these questions you will find a thousand deluded evolutionary explainations that take an incredible amount of faith to swallow.
      Use your own logic and judgement. We are not animals. The fact that you're alive here alive in this universe on a planet that is perfect in every way to make you happy is amazing. To write it off as some sort of cosmic accident that means nothing and came from nothing is just lazy!

      March 3, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Ferris

      Richard Cranium, first you figure out which are real scientists by finding the ones who believe in evolution and then you ask them if they believe in evolution? lol. You're a tool!
      I enjoy learning about both sides of the issue. There are plenty of intelligent scientists, mathematicians, biologists, engineers and philosophers who believe in creation. Biologists tend to be more into evolution but that could easilly be because they're more brainwashed or more pressured by the establishment to toe the line.

      Science is not the key to life. Putting your faith in people like Richard Dawkins or Steven Hawking will get you nowhere. Dawkins certainly doesn't look like he's got life figured out to me. He's on his second or third wife and looks rather hate-filled.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  4. Lou

    Who Did the Angel Speak to Regarding the Birth of Jesus?

    Matthew 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
    The angel appeared to Joseph.

    Luke 1:28 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
    The angel spoke to Mary.

    March 3, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Dana

      You do realize that a bunch of guys made up this book, right?

      March 3, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • End Religion

      "For further evidence of the true cause of gravity—that we are being pushed down by [the Flying Spaghetti Monster's] Noodly Appendages—we need only look at our historical records. The average height of humans two thousand years ago was about five feet three inches for males, compared with an average height of around five feet ten inches for males today. Useless by itself, this information becomes quite important when viewed in terms of worldwide population. Humans, apparently obsessed with fucking, have increased their numbers exponentially over the years. We find, counter-intuitively, that a small population correlates with shorter humans, and a larger population correlates with taller humans². This only makes sense in light of the FSM theory of gravity. With more people on earth today, there are fewer Noodly Appendages to go around, so we each receive less touching—pushing down toward the earth—and thus, with less force downward, we're taller."
      – Gospel of FSM

      (²) If we are to believe that height is a function of nutrition, as we're told, then a smaller population with more food available per person should correlate to a taller height. This is not what we find.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:29 am |
  5. ArthurP

    And of course there will be that wonderful scene from Exodus of the mother and father, who just happened to be first born, lying dead on the floor along with the oldest child as the other now orphaned children are crying at the loss of their parents.

    (terrorism – killing those with no political power to force political change by those with political power)

    March 3, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • End Religion

      wait, you mean to tell me the bible has unwarranted mass killings in it? Pshaw!

      March 3, 2013 at 8:29 am |
  6. Lou

    Was Mary a Virgin?

    Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

    Matthew 1:23 The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us").
    The Greek Septuagint which Matthew used translates it as "a virgin shall conceive and bear a son," but the Hebrew word "almah" means "young woman of marriageable age," not a virgin.

    March 3, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • End Religion

      Jesus ~= Dionysus ~= Osiris ~= Horus ~= Mithras

      March 3, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • One one

      Why did it have to be a virgin? Does god prefer virgins?

      March 3, 2013 at 8:32 am |
  7. Dana

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHbYJfwFgOU

    March 3, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • wow......bow wow

      Bill might have blind spot. One that hides the fact that living things have never been observed coming from non-living things. His old Prof Carl S. might have forgot to highlight that in his notes. How many living things do we see on other planets (or moons)? Hmmm let's see... I think we're now up to... ZERO? But in a couple of centuries probably lots will appear on Mars? or somewhere and wave back to their silly religious cousins....those crazy Earthlings. But wait would they be our cousins or our ancestors or maybe we're their ancestors? But I digress. I mean speculate...no pontificate... no he pontificates I procrastinate. So anyway Fun and Games with those who say there is no God. p.s. Haven't there always been old fossils etc. Wasn't it made that way from like day 10 or so? Like Adam. He wasn't an embryo or a child or infant or a teenager. Eve...now she might have been a teenager. You don't suppose we're all walking talking miracles... supernatural manifestations of the Living God from whence all has emanated. That would be something.

      March 3, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  8. Tea Clown

    LOL – All they truly care about are the profits – not the prophets. Modern religion is just a marketing tool for the wealthy and corrupt.

    March 3, 2013 at 8:24 am |
  9. palintwit

    Why does Chick-fil-A always remind me of toothless inbred teabillies?

    March 3, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Tea Clown

      ...clogging their self-righteous arteries with globs of deep fried fat. Natural selection will run it's course.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • End Religion

      Does one have to wear overalls and chew on a stalk of wheat in order to get food from this place? I haven't been to one so I'm not sure if there's a dress code.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • wow......bow wow

      Bill might have blind spot. One that hides the fact that living things have never been observed coming from non-living things. His old Prof Carl S. might have forgot to highlight that in his notes. How many living things do we see on other planets (or moons)? Hmmm let's see... I think we're now up to... ZERO? But in a couple of centuries probably lots will appear on Mars? or somewhere and wave back to their silly religious cousins....those crazy Earthlings. But wait would they be our cousins or our ancestors or maybe we're their ancestors? But I digress. I mean speculate...no pontificate... no he pontificates I procrastinate. So anyway Fun and Games with those who say there is no God. p.s. Haven't there always been old fossils etc. Wasn't it made that way from like day 10 or so? Like Adam. He wasn't an embryo or a child or infant or a teenager. Eve...now she might have been a teenager. You don't suppose we're all walking talking miracles... supernatural manifestations of the Living God from whence all has emanated. That would be something.

      March 3, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  10. ¿WHAT?

    WHY DID OLD TESTAMENT PEOPLE YELL EVERYTHING?!?

    March 3, 2013 at 8:23 am |
  11. Lou

    Genesis 1:31 God was pleased with his creation.
    Genesis 6:5-6 God was not pleased with his creation.
    Which raises the question, how can an omnipotent, omniscient God create something he’s not pleased with?

    Genesis 2:3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
    An omnipotent being required…rest?

    Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
    God placed temptation in the direct path of his two naïve children and allowed them to be tempted by the serpent (Genesis 3: 1-7), resulting in a single mistake that would contaminate hundreds of billions with a sin nature worthy of eternal torture?

    Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, ’You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?"
    A talking snake. Enough said.

    March 3, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Gawd

      Quote fiction much?

      March 3, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • Natan

      In the words of the great comedian Lewis Black – "You don't understand it Lou because it is not your book!"

      March 3, 2013 at 8:37 am |
  12. wow......bow wow

    A holy God still loves sinful man.

    March 3, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • End Religion

      I bet you like your men a little sinful too, eh?

      March 3, 2013 at 8:34 am |
  13. Dana

    The show should be on the science fiction network or comedy central not the history channel.

    March 3, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • wow......bow wow

      Calm down. A Holy God still loves us loves us all no matter how sinful we may be. Repent and accept it as it is.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:25 am |
  14. steve orbe

    I wouldn't waste my time on A version coming from someone who thinks reallity tv is real and not scripted. His version with another white looking Jesus. I've said it all along, to sum up the bible, God just wants u to love one another as u would love yourself. If you don't love yourself you can't love mankind. If God is not real, and I die believing he is real, I've lost nothing. However if God is real and I die not believing, then I lost my soul. I choose to believe and live a good life. To those that trash God, good luck in the after life, you're gonna need it.

    March 3, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Dana

      How long have you had your imaginary friend? Don't waste your time with that nonsense. You have one life to live. Make the most of it.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Pascals wager restated...the worst reason ever to "believe"

      March 3, 2013 at 8:24 am |
  15. Sara Howells

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcyW7rMYR7A

    March 3, 2013 at 8:18 am |
  16. Dana

    LOL. He went from reality to the other extreme.

    March 3, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  17. Name*penguin

    Is it going to show God dashing children against cliff rocks. Will it say Isreal has always existed when, in fact, there wasn't always an Isreal. Or is the miniseries going to be a fictionalized account of a work of fiction. One can believe in God and Jesus without resorting to the Bible.

    March 3, 2013 at 8:16 am |
  18. Markee

    This guy is Catholic and the father of reality television. Gary Busey would have a better shot at getting the biblical narrative right then him!

    March 3, 2013 at 8:16 am |
  19. Jesus answers

    "We are going to change the world." Forgetting to add; "Maybe not in a good way right off the bat. It will take a few thousand years of torture, murder, deception, greed, subjugation of women, etc. to get the sheep into line but my disciples will live well off of the fat of the sheep."

    March 3, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  20. Rick

    "Mark Burnett is the king of reality television."

    Really?

    "The seal of his production company One Three Media appears at the end of “Survivor,”
    “The Voice,” “The Apprentice,” “Shark Tank,” “The Job” and “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?”"

    If these are real examples of reality then doing a miniseries on the bible is right up his alley.

    March 3, 2013 at 8:14 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.