Several of this year’s biggest shows went head to head last Sunday in what turned out to be a huge night for television. If you sat down to watch TV after a long day of Easter celebration, chances are you were in one of three crowds. The first includes fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones, who tuned in to watch the show’s massively-hyped third season premier. The hour-long episode drew in 4.4 million viewers, up 13% from last season’s premier. Although impressive, this paled in comparison to the season finale of The Walking Dead, which continued to break records with 12.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched show of the night and achieving record viewership for the show. And then there was the finale of The Bible miniseries, which beat out Game of Thrones and rivaled The Walking Dead with 11.7 million viewers.
This is a highly impressive feat for The Bible, a show that took many by surprise with its overall success. The ten-hour miniseries, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, has been making waves over the past five weeks in both religious and secular circles. Though it was not without some controversies, the series grew to be a force in popular culture and has sparked a great deal of conversation for many. Not only that, but a recent study by the Barna Group shows that people have actually been learning about the Bible through the show.
When asked if they had learned something from the show they did not previously know, 69% of viewers claimed that they did. Christians deemed “less active” (those who had not gone to church that week), were the most likely to discover something new about the Bible, with 78% answering yes. Non-Christians came in next at 67%, with active Christians at 60%. This goes to show that The Bible has not only been making an impact in the entertainment industry, but also in providing people with knowledge of Scripture.
Though the series ended less than a week ago, Burnett and Downey recently announced that they have another Bible-based project in the works. Until then, The Bible is an excellent source of discussion and learning for Christians and non-believers alike.