"The Bible" delivered big ratings for History Channel on Sunday, March 3. The miniseries' two-hour premiere at 8-10 P.M. lured in 13.1 million viewers and scored a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49, higher than any major broadcast show airing on the same night.
The viewership marks cable's most-watched entertainment telecast this year so far. When the show's repeat that night is accounted, the viewership rises to 14.8 million. Additionally, the drama show became a No. 1 trending topic on Twitter during its premiere.
"The success of 'The Bible' has catapulted History into one of the most powerful brands across media landscape and we could not be more thrilled and more proud," says Nancy Dubuc, president of A&E Networks.
"Clearly there is a nationwide groundswell that was waiting for this moment ... An enormous debt of gratitude goes out to everyone and the amazing effort put forth to drive us to this amazing win. Clearly the passion for this project has resonated with our viewers and across the nation. We are thrilled, and the story is only just beginning."
Executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett also comment on the show's success, "We could not be more thrilled with this out of the gate success of THE BIBLE on HISTORY." They add, "The world is watching right now and we are incredibly humbled by the reaction to the series. This #1 series is a tribute to all those who have helped us to spread the Word."
"We've been working on this project for the past four years now, and are deeply honored to be given this once in a generation opportunity to breathe new visual life into the Bible's profound stories," Downey and Burnett continue. "The Bible gives meaning and purpose to billions of people around the world. We believe the success of the series will spark the curiosity of billions more."
"The Bible" covers the text from Genesis to Revelation, re-telling the stories as they unfold and revealing new insights into these iconic characters in context of the Bible. It will air new episode every Sunday over the next four weeks.
"The Bible" also became a strong lead-in for History's first scripted series "Vikings" which debuted the same night. The historical drama series attracted 6.2 million viewers for the premiere and 8.2 million for the night.