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NBC TO PARTNER WITH PRODUCER MARK BURNETT TO BRING HIS FOLLOW-UP PROJECT TO THE ENORMOUSLY POPULAR MINISERIES "THE BIBLE" TO THE PEACOCK NETWORK

"A.D.: BEYOND THE BIBLE" (WORKING TITLE) FROM MARK BURNETT AND ROMA DOWNEY, IS FIRST ANNOUNCED PROJECT UNDER NBC'S NEW LONGFORM PROGRAMMING INITIATIVE

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. - July 01, 2013 - Award-winning executive producer Mark Burnett ("The Voice," "Celebrity Apprentice") will continue his relationship with the peacock network by bringing "A.D.: BEYOND THE BIBLE," (working title) to NBC, his follow-up project with his wife, Roma Downey, to this spring's enormously popular 10-part miniseries "The Bible." The announcement was made by Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment, and Bob Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment.

"NBC is thrilled to bring this highly-anticipated sequel to Mark and Roma's 'The Bible' to network television," said Salke. "There was huge interest in this project within the television community and NBC is gratified by Mark's confidence in our ability to partner with him and position this miniseries as true event television."

Greenblatt added: "I followed the development process of 'The Bible' closely with Mark and knew that the story was far from over after Christ's Crucifixion. In fact, what happened in the aftermath - which is essentially the beginning of Christianity - is utterly fascinating. The day after 'The Bible' premiered, I told Mark we were on board with no hesitation for the follow-up miniseries. This will be attention-getting in every way, and we're proud to continue our association with Mark which has just grown exponentially from 'The Voice.'"

"We are thrilled to be working with Bob, Jen and Quinn Taylor to bring the follow-up to our hit cable series 'The Bible' to broadcast television with NBC," said Burnett and Downey. "Our new series, A.D.: BEYOND THE BIBLE, is another massive project and a major commitment, but it's a story that has to be told. It's a story that changed the world. We look forward to making this an enormous television event on NBC."

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's epic follow up to their #1 miniseries, "The Bible," -- A.D.: BEYOND THE BIBLE -- begins 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.

"The Bible," which was produced by Burnett and Downey's LightWorkers Media and starred Downey as Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the number one new cable series of 2013 and dominated both ratings and media attention this spring. In its first week of home video release, "The Bible" was the top-selling miniseries of all time and the number one television series on DVD and Blu-Ray in the past five years. It has just surpassed 1 million units sold in the past three months.

AD: Beyond the Bible will be executive produced by "The Bible" team of Roma Downey, Mark Burnett and Richard Bedser. It will be a co-production between LightWorkers Media, Hearst Productions and Universal Television.

ABOUT MARK BURNETT: Four-time Emmy Award winner Mark Burnett has produced over 1,200 hours of television programming which regularly airs in over 70 countries worldwide. His current network series include "The Voice" (NBC), "Survivor" (CBS), "The Celebrity Apprentice" (NBC), "Shark Tank" (ABC), and the upcoming "The Sing-Off" (NBC). In the last 12 months, Burnett's series have won their time slots on five nights of television in the same week. He also has a strong presence in award show franchises, having produced the "MTV Movie Awards" from 2007 to 2011, the annual "People's Choice Awards" since 2010, the "Video Game Awards" (Spike) and the 2011 "Prime time Emmy Awards." Burnett has been named one of the world's most influential people by TIME Magazine and is also listed as TV Guide's Most Valuable Player. He has won BRANDWEEK'S Marketer of the Year Award, The Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, the PGA Norman Lear Award and the prestigious ROSE D'OR FRAPA Format Award. Burnett was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and was honored in 2010 with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. He served two elected terms on the Board of Directors for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles.

ABOUT ROMA DOWNEY: A celebrated, Emmy-nominated actress, Roma Downey is best known for her nine seasons as the tender-hearted angel on the hit CBS show Touched by an Angel. Downey starred in over 200 episodes and her work as the compassionate angel inspired millions of people around the world and earned her multiple best actress nominations for Emmy's and Golden Globe awards. Born in Ireland and classically trained in London, Downey has performed on stage with the famed Abbey Theatre Company and has appeared both on and off Broadway. She played the leading role of Jackie Kennedy Onassis in the Emmy Award-winning six-hour miniseries for NBC called "A Woman Named Jackie." Downey not only starred in, but executive produced, seven television movies for The CBS network, among them "Borrowed Hearts" with Eric McCormack and "Second Honeymoon" with Tim Matheson. She is the executive producer of the children's DVD and book series "Little Angels" and its companion "Little Angels Storybook Bible." For many years, Downey has been a spokesperson for "Operation Smile" a volunteer organization that brings free surgeries to children around the globe with facial deformities. She has traveled to third world and developing countries making fund raising films on their behalf.

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