‘A.D.: The Bible Continues’ Pulled From NBC Lineup, But Producers Promise More

NBC has pulled the plug on the biblical drama, A.D.: The Bible Continues, after just one season. But Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are promising fans of the series that they do have plans for more Christian-based drama on a different network.

According to Variety, A.D.: The Bible Continues was met with low ratings since debuting on Easter Sunday this year, averaging about 6.5 million viewers during its 12-episode run. The show debuted strongly with 10 million viewers, according to TVLine, but the numbers dropped each week after that.

And while NBC has decided to no longer move forward with A.D.: The Bible Continues, Burnett and Downey plan to continue the series through their new channel, OTT. The online-based network is expected to launch in either 2016 or 2017, and will provide original, faith-based programming for its viewers.

A.D.: The Bible Continues was initially marketed as a miniseries, but back in April, Burnett told Deadline that he and Downey were working on the second season. NBC had not given the official green light at the time, but Burnett sounded confident about A.D. remaining on NBC.

“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.”

Juan Pablo As Jesus
Juan Pablo Di Pace as Jesus in 'A.D.: The Bible Continues'

The Bible was a ratings success when it premiered in 2013 on History. Burnett had hoped that A.D. would do the same on network television.

“In the end, all you can do is do the best you can do, and obviously, it’s not hype. It’s really good. A.D. is better than The Bible, and so it should do equally as well as, if not better. Regardless of what the ratings are, over the next 20 years, billions of people will see A.D. Billions.”

The show was met with harsh criticism, including from those of the Christian faith. Answers in Genesis, a faith-based group that recapped each episode, called A.D. “inaccurate.”

“Theologically and historically, the writers of this show have been sloppy at best and calculatingly agenda-driven at the expense of Scripture at worst. Indeed the ‘A.D.’ for this 12th (and final for now) installment stands for ‘Absolutely Dismal.'”

The review continued by stating that A.D. had ended its first season with some unresolved plotlines. But with the way the series had been thus far, and with how the finale was going, the reviewer noted the difficulty of looking forward to another season.

“We hope this does not mean that the series will be revived after a brief hiatus. Unfortunately, with this bad of a TV episode, there can be little to look forward to in subsequent shows if there are any.”

Are you surprised by the cancellation of A.D.: The Bible Continues?

[Images via NBC and Zap2it]