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How the History Channel Turned ‘The Bible’ Into a Blockbuster

Jesus Christ, played by Diogo Morgado
Jesus Christ, played by Diogo MorgadoCourtesy Joe Alblas via The History Channel

Jesus Christ is poised to become a superstar once again. This time on basic cable, thanks in part to a clever marketing strategy.

On Sunday night, the History Channel racked up huge ratings with the first installment of a five-part miniseries called The Bible. The first two-hour episode attracted 13.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched entertainment telecast on all of cable so far in 2013. The series, which features CGI-enhanced Biblical stories ranging from Noah’s ark to Jesus’s crucifixion, will air its final episode on Easter Sunday.