Roma Downey, the Derry-born actress who garnered fame and fortune back in the 1990s with the CBS TV series Touched by an Angel, has been relatively quiet these past few years, though her life has hardly been lived out of the spotlight thanks to her marriage to the uber-reality TV producer Mark Burnett.
It seems that everything Burnett creates turns to ratings gold, from his groundbreaking Survivor series which is still going strong all these years later, to his newest hit, The Voice, the singing talent show that’s resuscitating the moribund NBC prime time schedule.
The LA-based power couple last week announced a collaboration with the History Channel that will see them produce a 10-episode series that will be titled The Bible, based on – you guessed it – stories from the most famous book in the world.
“People apply personal meanings to the Bible. Our job is to tell the stories in an emotionally connected way,” said the British-born Burnett, who once served as a paratrooper in Northern Ireland prior to making it big on this side of the pond.
Apparently Roma and Mark have been working on the series for the past two years. The History Channel is fully backing their vision, with a spokesperson saying that The Bible will be one of the biggest and costliest series the company has ever produced.
The series isn’t due to air until the first part of 2013, so they’ll have plenty of time to work with a committee of theologians and religious scholars to tell their stories appropriately.
Each hour long episode will be shot at various locations, including, of course, the Middle East. The series will combine live action with computer generated imagery. The stories they’ll focus on include Noah’s Ark, the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ.
Fans of Roma won’t have to wait for another two years to see her in action, though. Next month, Saturday, July 16 to be precise, she’ll star in a Hallmark Channel movie called Keeping Up With the Randalls.
Roma plays the mother in an ultra-competitive sporting family who may or may not welcome the son’s girlfriend, depending on her athletic abilities.