As expected, NBC has decided not to move forward with a second season of AD: The Bible Continues. The 12 episode mini-series wrapped on June 21st and has now been cancelled.
Produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, AD: The Bible Continues tells the tale of the later chapters of biblical history (following the Crucifixion of Christ). It focuses on the disciples who had to go forward and spread the teachings of Jesus Christ to a world dominated by political unrest. The cast includes Juan Pablo Di Pace, Adam Levy, Richard Coyle, Vincent Regan, Greta Scacchi, Babou Ceesay, Chipo Chung, Emmett J. Scanlan, Jodhi May, Joanne Whalley, Ken Bones, Kevin Doyle, Helen Daniels, and Fraser Ayers.
The series debuted on April 5th to a respectable 2.33 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 9.68 million viewers. Unfortunately, the ratings saw severe drops in the weeks that followed. The finale hit a series low with a 0.7 demo and 3.56 million.
Though NBC doesn’t want a second season, the story isn’t over. Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have said that their writers have been working on scripting season two for some time.
Now that NBC has cancelled the show, the producers see it as a tentpole for the launch of OTT. They have been working on the online channel since partnering with MGM to form United Artists Media Group last fall. The online channel is envisioned as a base for faith and religion-based content but won’t be launched until 2016 or 2017.
The castmembers of AD are being released from their contracts because the next incarnation won’t be filmed for awhile. As a result, there may be some recasting when production resumes.
What do you think? Should NBC have cancelled this show? Will you watch the next season online when it becomes available or prefer to watch on DVDs. Would you pay to watch this kind of programming?