Friday, March 29, 2013

This Week's Inspiring Pop Culture Moment: The Bible

  Photo by ©2012 A+E Networks, LLC

Each week we take a look around our pop culture world and try to find one moment that stood out as the most inspiring. It might be a celebrity who is doing charitable things, a TV shows that inspires us to be better or a philosophy that we should all strive to live by. Here is this week's most inspiring pop culture moment.

There’s always a lot of controversy surrounding religious issues. But uber-Executive Producer Mark Burnett found himself being faced with drama of biblical proportions recently when viewers of his mini-series The Bible thought that his casting choice for the devil looked a tad bit like President Barack Obama. Subconscious misstep or not, Burnett’s reasons for producing the show go far beyond a simple gossip fueled ratings race.

As he explained in a recent conference call interview he talked about how he and his wife, Roma Downey got involved with the project, “I believe in God and I believe in The Bible, and I therefore if I’m hearing a voice inside me, I know it’s God.  Some people, who don’t believe that — they call it instincts, I guess, but the one thing many people forget to do is follow that voice inside them.  Be it for people who believe in God or an instinct. And we knew this is what we should do. We’ve done it.” 

Burnett continued, “As I look back, I realized had it not been for Survivor and Apprentice and Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? and Shark Tank and The Voice, we wouldn’t have had the experience or the ability to get this made.  I’m certain about that.  And I’m pretty certain — that over the next 30 years more people will see this miniseries in various forms than everything else we’ve ever made combined.”

That’s part of the reason he wanted to stay true to the original text. He remarked, “It’s a drama, so it’s very accurate to the Bible.  We used a team of over 40 advisors across all denominations I would say and it’s a drama.  There are connective parts, because we’re telling it as one story over ten hours — five hours Old Testament, five hours New Testament.  And so like Keith David, an African American actor, provides the voice that links between of the span of years, but it is a full-on drama.” 

Still he hopes it has a broad appeal. Burnett acknowledged, “It’s not preaching at you.  It’s letting you feel the stories and there’s some great endorsements that you can see from Rick Warren, Bishop Jakes, Joel Osteen, Bill Hybels, from Sam Rodriguez, who represents Hispanic Christian community.  The endorsements are astounding and these are people that have seen every biblical movie.  We’ve really taken four years to put a lot of love into this and I hope you enjoy it.”

Watch that joy shine through on The Bible every Sunday night at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. Central on History Channel.

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