Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage
History‘s 10-part miniseries The Bible continues to be the gift that keeps on giving, landing three Emmy nominations this morning including one for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie (as well as for sound editing and sound mixing). The noms further burnished the credentials of the series’ married exec producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey and come at a time when the project has taken on a successful life of its own: Burnett sold a sequel this month to NBC (tentatively titled AD: Beyond The Bible) and has seen the original mini emulate the massive ratings success it had on History overseas (it bowed to huge ratings this week in Australia). The series was No. 1 in its time period for all of TV when it aired in March and averaged 11.4 million total viewers during its five-week run. At the end of June it passed the 1 million mark in DVD sales, making it one of the best-selling DVDs based on a TV series of all time.
Dirk Hoogstra, History’s EVP and general manager, was celebrating the show’s Emmy success this morning while expressing that the nominations weren’t entirely a surprise. “We always knew that Burnett was a talented producer, but we never fully knew his work ethic,” he said. “Both he and Roma just worked tirelessly, in production and in helping market it. They pushed and pushed and rallied. So that was obviously key in this happening.”
Hoogstra also expressed disappointment that History wasn’t able to land the Bible sequel. “We were in discussions to develop it,” he said. “We weren’t quite sure if it was going to be purely historical, if there were going to be angels in it, or what. We had a lot of questions. Maybe NBC didn’t feel the need to have those answers before jumping into it.”