With popularity of Bible-themed projects showing no signs of subsiding, Fox has put in development Nazareth, an event series written/executive produced by David Franzoni (Gladiator) and executive produced by Bob Cooper. Nazareth is the first project under an overall deal for event series that Fox has signed with Cooper and Tyler Mitchell’s Landscape Entertainment. It follows the formative years of Jesus of Nazareth. There had been a lot of interest recently in Jesus’ so called “lost years,” a lesser known period in his life because there is very little written about him from the age of 13, following a pilgrimage to Jerusalem he took with his parents, to age 30, when he began his ministry and was baptized by John the Baptist. Lifetime in February started development on The One, a TV movie from Hatfields & McCoys producer Leslie Greif and writers Frank DeJohn and David Alton Hedges, which is described as a coming-of-age story exploring Jesus’ early life and formative years as he comes to learn he is the Son of God and is destined for greatness. Another project, which was briefly in development at History, took a more unconventional approach to the same period in Jesus’ life, exploring a theory about his origins as an exorcist. Nazareth hails from FX Prods., which produces most of Fox’s event series, and Entertainment One, where Landscape has a first-look deal. Eleven Films’ Jamie Campbell and Joel Wilson executive produce with Franzoni and Cooper. Franzoni was a co-writer and producer on 2000 hit Gladiator, sharing in the film’s best film Oscar win and a writing nomination. Landscape and eOne recently teamed with Dimension Television, the TV arm of The Weinstein Co., on a Death In The Modern Age series.
Nazareth is the latest biblical longform TV project set up following the blockbuster success of History’s The Bible miniseries and its feature offshoot Son Of God. A Bible sequel is in the works at NBC, National Geographic Channel has mini Killing Jesus coming up and WGN America has greenlighted 10-part event series Ten Commandments.