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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have a deal to produce another miniseries as a follow-up to "The Bible" for NBC.

"The Bible" sequel to run on NBC


The Bible, a collection of writings, is in itself the most-read book in history. In reality it doesn't have a sequel. But in TV land, its latest miniseries production does.

When you take one of the most prolific reality TV producers and put him together with an actress known for her work on spiritual shows, you get a Hollywood power couple that have just landed a development deal.

Mark Burnett ("The Apprentice," "The Voice" and "Survivor") and wife Roma Downey ("Touched By An Angel") were the executive producer team behind the production of "The Bible" that aired on the History Channel. The mini-series, which pulled in more than 14.8 million viewers on its opening night, has received a green light for another installment, this time with NBC.

"I followed the development process of 'The Bible' closely with Mark (Burnett) and knew that the story was far from over after Christ's crucifixion," said NBC chairman of entertainment Bob Greenblatt. "The day after 'The Bible' premiered, I told Mark we were on board with no hesitation for the follow-up miniseries."

"The Bible," which covered a number of storylines based on the old and new testaments, also did well in DVD sales after the original run. This provided NBC with another avenue for revenue, which lead to the approval for the next project. According to reports, the next miniseries will focus on the years following the death and resurrection of Jesus and the early years of the Christian church.

"Our new series, 'A.D.: Beyond the Bible,' is another massive project and a major commitment, but it's a story that has to be told," Burnett and Downey said in a joint statement. "It's a story that changed the world. We look forward to making this an enormous television event on NBC."

For the peacock network, this deal just builds on the established relationship with Burnett.

"This will be attention-getting in every way, and we're proud to continue our association with Mark which has just grown exponentially from 'The Voice,'" Greenblatt said.

JUST PLINKO: If you watched "The Price Is Right" in the last three decades, chances are that you've seen the Plinko game. Contestants guess on product prices to get a chip. They send the chip down the pegged board for a chance at hitting up to $10,000 in a single try.

The game is marking its 30th anniversary this year.

"When we realized it was the 30th anniversary of Plinko, we wanted to do something special," the show's executive producer Mike Richards told BuzzFeed.

"And Drew (Carey) and I have always wanted to do an all-Plinko show. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to keep trotting it out."

The episode is set to air on CBS in late September.

MOVING ON: After 15 years of hosting "Reliable Sources" on CNN, Howard Kurtz is now looking for a change in venue.

On Sunday, he did a look back at some of the most memorable moments of the political talk show.

"I haven't changed, and I will be continuing my independent brand of media criticism," Kurtz said.

He'll be joining the staff at Fox News.

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