Megan Basham reports on the way The Bible stacks up against other cultural phenomenons on TV:
This past Sunday the television industry felt the ground shake when the first installment of the History Channel’s five-part miniseries, The Bible, drew a whopping 14.3 million viewers. To put that in perspective, those are higher ratings than American Idol drew on Fox in the same week. Higher ratings than the premiere of Celebrity Apprentice on NBC. And it officially made The Biblethe number one scripted cable broadcast of the year.
The news was apparently so astonishing it prompted Business Weekto investigate exactly how the basic cable network pulled it off and inspired Timemagazine’s resident T.V. critic, James Poniewozik, to ponder whether The Bible’s success will lead to further mainstream forays into religious-themed entertainment.
What’s more astonishing, given how often pro-faith productions put up massive numbers, is that major media outlets still feel the need to run shocked headlines about it.