Add Lifetime to the rapidly growing list of TV networks ordering Bible projects from Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. Downey will narrate the two-hour special The Women Of The Bible, which Lifetime will debut leading into its December 7 world premiere of the network’s biblical miniseries The Red Tent. The Women of The Bible will retell stories from the Bible and feature interviews with “high profile women in the faith community,” the network said.
The newly announced special will share the stories of Eve, Sara, Rahab, Mary Magdalene and Mother Mary, “with new insights from some of today’s leaders and scholars in the faith community,” the network said. Those interviewees include Christine Caine; Priscilla Shirer, Co-Founder of Going Beyond Ministries; Victoria Osteen, Co-Pastor of Lakewood Church; Eva Rodriguez of the Latino Evangelical Women’s Association; Kay Warren, Co-Founder of Saddleback Church; and Joyce Meyer, Bible teacher and New York Times bestselling author, among others.
“There’s no one better than Mark Burnett and Roma Downey to create this special, which is the perfect complement to Lifetime’s miniseries event, The Red Tent,” Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Lifetime, said today.
Last May, Lifetime announced it was going into production on The Red Tent, which tells the story of Dinah the daughter of Leah and Jacob, who is only briefly referenced in the Old Testament. The two-night, four-hour miniseries adaptation of the best-selling novel by Anita Diamant published in 1997, stars Rebecca Ferguson, Minnie Driver (About A Boy) and Homeland alumna Morena Baccarin. Produced by Sony TV and executive produced by Paula Weinstein, the mini had been in development at Lifetime since 2011. Its green light coincided with intense interest in bible-themed TV projects in the wake of the blockbuster success of Burnett and Downey’s The Bible miniseries on Lifetime sibling History, and its feature offshoot, Son Of God.
Earlier this month, TLC ordered a six-part series about people who claim they’ve experienced “divine intervention,” from Downey and Burnett — the It Couple of Biblical TV. Downey will host that series, which TLC says explores “the stories of people who claim that they’ve experienced modern-day miracles, incredible twists of fate, and phenomena that logic and science cannot explain.” TLC brags the series “will leave even the most skeptical viewers considering if a divine force was at work.”
In April, Burnett and Downey joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Paramount Pictures’ Ben-Hur. In December, they landed CBS‘ first announced project from its new limited series and event programming unit — The Dovekeepers, a four-hour miniseries based on Alice Hoffman’s historical novel about the Siege of Masada, scheduled to air in 2015. That same month, NBC gave a formal green light to Burnett and Downey’s 12-hour miniseries A.D.,– a follow-up to their highly rated miniseries The Bible. The project, produced by LightWorkers Media with Burnett, Downey and Richard Bedser serving as executive producers, is eyeing a premiere in spring ’15.
The Women Of The Bible will be produced by Burnett and Downey’s Lightworkers Media, the faith and family division of United Artists Media Group (UAMG). They will also executive produce the special. UAMG retains certain rights to The Women Of The Bible, including video and international distribution rights, which will be distributed by MGM. United Artists Media Group (UAMG) is a joint venture among MGM, Burnett, Downey and Hearst Corporation.