Mark Burnett's 'A.D.' a biblical series on risen Christ & His rising church

by Staff, |

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Christian Examiner)  -- The official trailer for "A.D.," the latest biblical series by "The Bible" creators Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, was released Thursday. The story comes after the crucifixion of Jesus and follows disciples in Jerusalem as they struggle against the Romans, who fear an insurrection.

The main conflict in the three-minute trailer comes from those in power who consider Jesus Christ no more than "a magician from Galilee" and those who believe Him to be the Son of God.

"He threatened everything these people believed in," one unknown woman says in the trailer.

"The Nazarene preached insurrection against all authority," a Roman official says threateningly.

John, Judas, Mary Magdalene, Pontius Pilate and Peter also make appearances while other disciples face all kinds of dangers. Priests are murdered, others are hurt and Jewish leadership accuses in the action-packed sequence. Finally, one man reports to a priest that Jesus has arisen.

"High priest, the tomb is now open and the Nazarene is gone," he says with trepidation.

The series comes from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, whose last series, "The Bible," was hugely successful when it was released in 2013 for The History Channel. It even beat out shows like "The Walking Dead" in terms of ratings and breaking viewership records.

"I have to be honest and say the fact that 100 million people turned in was a very sweet, pleasant surprise," Downey told Fox news at the time. "People are reacting to us by stepping up to us with a handshake and saying thank you for making the show and sharing that it has touched their lives. It has brought us together in faith."

As a result the show was nominated for three Emmy awards and began a national shift towards more faith-based consumers. Burnett and Downey are again pushing towards more God-centered, dramatic programming with their latest venture.

"A.D.," which will cover the period right after the crucifixion of Jesus to the birth of the early church, will launch Easter Sunday 2015 on NBC.