After announcing the project more than five months ago, NBC has officially greenlit the 12-episode miniseries A.D., which will pick up where History’s well-watched The Bible left off.
Mark Burnett, wife Roma Downey and Richard Bedser will serve as executive producers on the project, which will most likely premiere in spring 2015.
“You might think the story is over at the Crucifixion, but as most of the world knows, that was only the beginning,” NBC Entertainment chief Jennifer Salke said in a statement. “Everyone’s lives were completely altered in an instant and the immediate aftermath of Christ’s death had an impact on his disciples, his mother Mary and key political and religious leaders of the time.
“In the first episode alone,” she continued, “you see the last moments of the Crucifixion, Judas” — SPOILER ALERT — “taking his own life after betraying Christ, Peter denying Jesus three times and then the miracle of the Resurrection.”
A previously released logline for the miniseries read as follows:
In the dark days after Jesus’ betrayal and death, a perfect storm brews in the Holy Land, fueled by social injustice, Roman military oppression and religious unrest. High priests and the Herod dynasty vie for power. Zealot revolutionaries turn to violence to regain what they believe is their promised land. And in the face of terrible odds and brutal persecution, the small band of Jesus’ disciples stand against the combined might of Rome and their own local authorities. In a generation of rebellion, war, famine, and carnage, who can they trust? Who should they fear? Will tomorrow bring a violent death? For many, it does … but others survive, and as the storm around them breaks, the fate of Israel, of Rome and of their faith is decided.
Simon Block (The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall) will write the script, with a director and cast to be announced at a later date.
In its March 2013 premiere on History, The Bible drew 13.1 million viewers, while its final episode — which aired on Easter Sunday — drew 11.7 million, defeating The Walking Dead in the 9 o’clock hour.