Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

April 8, 2013

'The Bible': Hollywood's come to Jesus moment?

Imagine the pitch to a History Channel executive for the smash hit "The Bible."

Here's one scenario:

Producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett: "Hi, we want to produce a story that appeals to all age groups. It has everything: love, lust, greed, war, self-sacrifice, and redemption. It's called 'The Bible.'"

Executive: "Could you repeat that? You said 'The Bible?'"

RD and MB: "Yes - we want to retell the Bible for this generation. And we think we can make money doing it. We've done a lot of market research - there is no competition out there."

Executive: "Have you ever thought that the lack of competition could speak to the fact that there is no market for what you describe? Look at the numbers. Twenty percent of Americans have no religion, up from 15 percent just five years ago. I am one of them. Besides, the Bible? No one associates healing and miracles with the History Channel. Our bread and butter is destruction. We like family feuds, alien invasions, and apocalyptic stories."

MB: "I get that - I produce 'Survivor' and 'The Voice,' remember? Maybe you didn't know, but many parts of the book are violent. It is also filled with incest, adultery, and murder. Let's recap just the story of David in the Old Testament. As a boy he kills a giant and helps to save his nation from enemy capture. The king at the time, Saul, praises the boy only to try to murder him later in a power struggle for the throne of Israel. Saul dies in battle. David becomes king, sends friend off to the front of the battle to die so that the friend will never find out that David slept with his wife, who is pregnant. Should I go on?"

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