ROMA Downey and her husband/producing partner Mark Burnett are in full swing promoting A.D. The Bible Continues, their highly anticipated follow-up series to the record breaking The Bible in 2013.
A.D. premieres on NBC Easter Sunday night, and there’s no question that it’s going to be huge. Downey and Burnett have cornered the market on bringing faith-based family entertainment to the masses since The Bible scored huge ratings and an unprecedented 100 million viewers for the History Channel a couple of years back, and Lord knows the power couple are all in when it comes to getting the word out about their programming.
They were in Houston earlier this month promoting the show to the thousands and thousands of faithful who attend Joel Osteen’s mega Lakewood Church, and more church tours are in the pipeline. Osteen, a religious celeb in his own right, couldn’t have been more gushing about his friends when he introduced them to the faithful.
"These guys are history makers," he said. "They are friends of ours and friends in the ministry. They could be doing anything with their influence and their favor but they stepped out in faith and produced The Bible series, hoping that people would receive it, and 100 million watched it. A.D. The Bible Continues is a story that needs to be told."
Derry native Downey, no stranger to spiritual-based success thanks to her star-making turn in the 1990s as Monica in the CBS show Touched by an Angel, says she and her husband are filling a need.
"I think people are hungry for these stories, hungry for hope, and they are hungry for their connection to God," she told a Houston TV station. "When you watch on Easter Sunday you will see the crucifixion, but it doesn't end there. You will also see the resurrection of Jesus, and the series [during] the next 12 weeks will take you on a journey of the disciples through the times that they lived in."
Roma and Mark practice what they preach, she adds.
"There isn't anything in our lives that doesn't begin with prayer and doesn't begin with intention," she said. "The intention was to create something beautiful that would touch people's lives and bring them closer to God. We want people to see themselves in this story."
Burnett’s success was well-cemented before The Bible. He’s the godfather of reality TV who brought to life hits like Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice and The Voice. Working with his wife of seven years is a joy, he says.
"We just love working together. Roma is not only my wife, she's my best friend, so we get to hang out all the time," Burnett shared.
Indeed. In addition to A.D. they have a couple of more series in the works, and a big-budget retelling of Ben-Hur.