Biblical epic on the smallscreen

UPDATE: My friend’s review heads the comment thread below this post.

A friend of mine has alerted me to the latest “TV event,” which has become a hallmark of American cable television.

This one is a five-part epic retelling the juiciest parts of the Bible. The Bible’s producers were inspired to make a big-budget TV series after watching Cecil B DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. A $22 million budget indicates it’s probably faithful to DeMille’s epic proportions.

The History Channel, which is screening the series in the US, has no plans to air it here. So my friend has downloaded the first episode and promised to get back to me on its merit.

Meanwhile, Catholics Come Home saw an opportunity in the Sunday night premiere. They dusted off their “epic” commercial and broadcast it to an audience of 13 million viewers. That may not sound like many in view of a total US population of 313 million, but in fact, 13 million translates into a massive rating win, making The Bible the year’s most-watched drama on American cable.

Given that ten per cent of Americans are ex-Catholics, it’s likely that more than a few lapsed Catholics numbered among the viewers, and maybe the CCH invitation reached a few hearts. Who knows?

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