'Bible' series finale captures 11.7 million viewers


NASHVILLE — History Channel's "The Bible" miniseries concluded Easter Sunday with its second-best night, with 11.7 million watching the finale that included Christ's death, burial and resurrection.

All total, the five-week series drew 56.8 million viewers, with more than 10 million tuning in each week.

During the five Sundays it was broadcast, The Bible finished either first or second among cable programs. On Easter Sunday its 11.7 million viewers finished second behind the season finale of AMC's "Walking Dead" (12.4 million).

Two professing Christians, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, are the executive producers. Downey told the radio program "For Faith & Family" that the "intention of making this series was to glorify God."

Mainstream media sites have taken notice of the high ratings.

"Those are the kinds of numbers that get TV executives' attention, and 'attention' in the TV business means copying," Time's James Poniewozik wrote. "Last year, History pulled meganumbers with Hatfields and McCoys; now NBC is developing a Hatfields and McCoys series. So I wouldn't be surprised to see more religious epics coming to TV — stories aimed, like The Bible miniseries, at the comfort zone of believers."

— BP