After two highly rated telefilms in the 'Killing _____' series, National Geographic has opted to expand the third installment, 'Killing Jesus,' into a full-on miniseries.
Based on the 2011 best-seller of the same name by FOX News host Bill O'Reilly (and co-author Martin Dugard), 'Killing Lincoln' premiered on Feb. 17, 2013. Starring 'Helix's Billy Campbell as Lincoln, the made-for-TV docudrama smashed all previous ratings records for the National Geographic Channel, so it was really no surprise when the network optioned O'Reilly's second book, 'Killing Kennedy.'
The telefilm adaptation of 'Killing Kennedy' (starring Rob Lowe) debuted on Nov. 10, 2013, and did even better ratings than its predecessor. Naturally, a TV version of O'Reilly's third novel, 'Killing Jesus', has already been in the pipeline for some time, and it's now guaranteed to be the most elaborate production in the series to date.
According to a new Deadline report, 'Killing Jesus' will expand beyond the two-hour length of 'Lincoln' and 'Kennedy,' becoming a full four-hour, two-night miniseries event. Like the previous installments, 'Killing Jesus' combines historical insights with dramatic narrative, and chronicles the events that led up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The production team behind 'Lincoln' and 'Kennedy' will return for 'Jesus,' with 'Law & Order' veteran Walon Green now set to write and produce the miniseries.
It's really no wonder Nat Geo has decided to expand 'Killing Jesus,' as Bible-themed programming is absolutely red hot right now. Last year's History miniseries 'The Bible' was a monster hit, with a sequel in the works at NBC. WGN is also developing a new take on 'The Ten Commandments.'
'Killing Jesus' begins production this summer, and will premiere globally in 2015.