NBC has cancelled A.D on the heels of its Hannibal cancellation due to plummeting ratings.
A.D. The Bible Continues, created by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, is a miniseries that served as a follow-up to their record-breaking miniseries, The Bible, which aired in 2013. Despite its opening night, with 9.5 million total viewers, A.D.’s ratings continued to plummet, leading NBC to cancel the miniseries after only one season.
Deadline reports that the initial high ratings for the show could be attributed to its well-thought-out opening date — Easter Sunday. Prior to the Easter debut, Burnett and Downey told Deadline that they were already working on a second season, and were waiting on the greenlight from NBC. Sadly, that never came.
“Well, we have been able to bring our writing team back to get the second season blocked out. So we’re very hopeful that the good news can’t be far away.”
— Variety (@Variety) July 3, 2015
“Going on Season 2, it’s actually more than hope springs eternal. The fact is if indeed this gets re-ordered, it’s going to be wanted for next Easter, right? So the only possible way to achieve that was to have already started writing the first six episodes. So we have a team on that,” the creators said.
“NBC funded that because everyone’s thinking, ‘OK, what we don’t want to have happen is have an enormous success and then we can’t possibly follow up in time.’ It’s just the logistics. So while we’re wrapping, editing, delivering Season 1, we have the teams fully engaged on writing Season 2, and prepping, and getting ready. So we are fully expecting that it will carry on. We think this could become NBC’s Game Of Thrones where you’ve got this 12 episodes a year, year after year, always premiering on Easter.”
Despite NBC not picking up the miniseries for a second season, due to the show’s devoted followers, Variety reports that A.D. may be picked up by another platform. They are hoping the show will air on the possibly the faith and religious programming-focused online channel OTT, which Downey and Burnett have been working on launching since partnering with MGM to form the United Artists Media Group last fall. The online channel is slated to be ready for launch in late 2016 or early 2017.
A.D. The Bible Continues cancellation comes on the heels of the cancellation of NBC’s Hannibal after only three seasons.
“We have been tremendously proud of Hannibal over its three seasons,” NBC said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “[Showrunner Bryan Fuller] and his team of writers and producers, as well as our incredible actors, have brought a visual palette of storytelling that has been second to none in all of television — broadcast or cable. We thank Gaumont and everyone involved in the show for their tireless efforts that have made Hannibal an incredible experience for audiences around the world.”
“NBC has allowed us to craft a television series that no other broadcast network would have dared, and kept us on the air for three seasons despite Cancellation Bear Chow ratings and images that would have shredded the eyeballs of lesser Standards & Practices enforcers,” Fuller added in his own statement. “Jen Salke and her team have been fantastic partners and creatively supportive beyond measure. Hannibal is finishing his last course at NBC’s table this summer, but a hungry cannibal can always dine again. And personally, I look forward to my next meal with NBC.”
Like A.D., the producers of Hannibal hope to continue their run elsewhere.
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[Photo by Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images]