Ratings: History's The Bible and Vikings Nab Audiences of Epic Proportions

the bibleFor History, the good book was a great bet.

The cable network says its Sunday night premiere of Mark Burnett‘s The Bible miniseries grabbed 13.1 million total viewers — including 4.6 million adults ages 25-54 — the biggest audience of any cable broadcast this year so far.

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The Goliath-like lead-in didn’t hurt the cabler’s other Sunday premiere, Vikings, which pillaged 6.2 million total viewers (a hearty 2.5 million of them in the 18-49 demo) at 10 pm.

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  1. Mike says:

    The Walking Dead ratings??

  2. Larry says:

    Broadcast television is shaking in their boots. Too much competition on Sunday nights now. The big 4 are no longer the only game in town that matters.

  3. S says:

    Thank you for the update, I was wondering how Vikings did.

  4. Midori4 says:

    That many people like a badly written fairy tale? Gods help us now.

  5. jsaie says:

    Vikings was great. Hope it can keep up the strong ratings.

  6. Steve-Bob says:

    Just wondering, as an atheist, is The Bible worth watching? The stories in the Bible seem kinda interesting, and being way to lazy to actually read the thing, is the series any fun or is it way to preachy and such?

    • anakinjmt says:

      Have you ever seen Ten Commandments with Charleton Heston? I’d say it is on par with that. As a Christian I thought it was respectful of God and the Old Testament people and stories but was on such an epic scale tha non-Christians would still be drawn in and enjoy it.

    • Paul Cox says:

      So far, it’s an overacted, overwrought cable-quality miniseries (with English accents?!) that does a decent job of telling childrens’ stories. If you’re looking for deeper meaning or any, pardon the pun, “revelations” you’re watching the wrong thing.

    • c-mo says:

      It’s not preachy at all, they’re just visually telling the stories in the book that way you can be as lazy as you want. It’s re-playing tonight on Lifetime and a couple more times on History later this week so if you’re not doing anything else, take a look.

    • Jennifer says:

      Yes, it is worth watching! This isn’t like listening to Kirk Cameron or James Robinson or even Joel Osteen, it’s not preachy at all, this is simply story telling facts. Watch it as you would a movie based on actual events.

    • Lacy says:

      It certainly wasn’t preachy, and if you’re looking for a generic overview, go for it. But, coming from an Old Testament student, the book itself is far richer and complex than any miniseries can convey. Any scholar will tell you the Bible is full of contradictions and difficulties, but that’s what makes it interesting!! Last night rushed through some of my favorite parts of the Bible and didn’t even touch the creation narratives (that’s right-multiple.)

    • moobear says:

      I would love a series about the real bible, the one that shows that Jesus was pro slavery, didn’t really have an opinion about the gays, thought divorce was a terrible, terrible sin. Where rape isn’t so bad, as long as the guy paid off the father of his victim and married her and murdering babies, children, pregnant women of your enemies was A-OK.
      Nothing is more amusing then watching religious folks try to explain away the embarrassing inconsistencies of their religion, while still maintaining that holy text is accurate and true.

    • JBJ says:

      If you want to try a superbly done Bible-based miniseries that still appeals to atheistic-types, try Kings on Hulu. It’s about the rise of King David.

  7. kirads09 says:

    Glad they got good ratings. I figured they would.

  8. Patricia De Souza says:

    I really want to watch Vikings glad the ratings were good. I’m trying to find it online. Not sure I’m going to be able to be without cable much longer

  9. Rod says:

    And this is why Sunday ratings on the networks are down. Put on a religious based show on a Sunday night and if it is decent, they will get big numbers. Remember Touched by an Angel became a huge hit when it moved from Saturdays to Sunday and became the family Sunday night show. .

    • Sg. Grant says:

      The Bible is just a zombie story that was a few thousand years ahead of its time. I’ll stick with Walking Dead on Sunday nights.

  10. sofia says:

    Aquele não é o Diogo Morgado?

  11. Kyle says:

    Why is History airing a scripted show based on a fictional book?

    • Mo says:

      Why not? What about the Vikings show that aired? That’s a scripted fictionalized series based on an ancient culture. I’d have no problem with History airing a scripted show based on stories & legends from other ancient writings, like Greek & Egyptian mythology etc. You don’t have to believe the religion to find the stories themselves interesting. And I appreciated the way they told the stories, dramatizing & fleshing out parts that are skimmed over in the text, or telling the creation story (the “in the beginning…” part anyway) almost like a bedtime story to Noah’s family on the ark. There is obviously not enough time to show everything… even a children’s picture/story Bible is a pretty hefty book. So it’s almost like they read it like they would any other book, and scripted it like they would any other adaptation to try to make the best dramatic & visual impact while staying respectful of the source material. It’s not the greatest miniseries of all time or anything, and parts were definitely overacted or otherwise sketchy, but so far it’s been decently entertaining which is why I’m watching. Until time for The Walking Dead, obviously. ;)

    • ChrisK says:

      Would you have a problem with “Roots” airing on History? It may or may not be factual history, but the History channel has long aired historic movies based on fictional novels/stories, etc. It’s got to be closer to what one should expect on History than Pawn Stars…

      • JBJ says:

        Seriously though…whether or not Jesus rose from the dead or was the son of God, he was an historical figure.

  12. shuayb says:

    I guess this is the reason why OUAT was at a series low…. Hmm…. Oh well.

    • moobear says:

      I guess fairy tales are interchangeable for a lot of people.

      • soundscene says:

        We get it. You think Christians are dumb.

        • moobear says:

          I’m just confused on how the word of god can get things wrong.

          • ChrisK says:

            Translation, Bias, Interpretation, Fabrication – depending on your point of view.

          • soundscene says:

            Why do you care so much if you think it’s “fairy tales” anyway?

            Although “fairy tales” assumes that nothing about the stories is factual. A lot of the people, places and events are grounded in historical fact. The historical, absolute truth of events as compared to their presentation in the Bible is an entirely different inquiry (one that is constantly studied by Biblical scholars). That doesn’t make the Bible any less historic.

          • moobear says:

            Moobears by nature are curious creatures, religion holds a lot of sway over a lot people and has caused strife in the past and even today, also I like to understand how people square the inconsistencies that are riddled throughout. I’ve worked with very religious people and we’ve always had very open and friendly talks about the issues in the bible, I know, I know religion and politics are supposed no-nos, but I haven’t had any problems and my coworkers enjoyed getting to explain their religious beliefs.

          • moobear says:

            But let me just say, I get how my joke was below the belt, I was just going for the cheap laugh.

  13. pickledicecream says:

    “4.6 million adults ages 25-54” which means the majority of the ratings were people 54+. Not that surprising really…