Mark Burnett will tell Biblical stories in new scripted, acted History Channel series

Survivor and The Voice producer Mark Burnett is producing a show about the Bible: a five-episode, 10-hour scripted miniseries for the History Channel that he developed along with his wife, Touched By An Angel’s Roma Downey.

That the History Channel is now producing a series about a book that is not quite an accurate account of history–especially after dropping the scripted miniseries The Kennedys after its historical accuracy was criticized–is kind of amusing, but then, the channel now airs Ice Road Truckers and Top Shot, so its name isn’t exactly as descriptive as it once was.

And History’s president, Nancy Dubuc, who told the New York Times that “What the book has come to represent, and the power of it and the importance of it is itself history,” adding that “We’re not stepping back to examine anything that could be called a controversy. We are just telling the stories that are in it.”

This series will do nothing to help Burnett’s reputation among Survivor fans who found the Survivor Redemption Island to be overly religious, and not just because of its heavily religious cast members. (In our contentious interview, Burnett called the season’s redemption theme “a great thing in 2011, redemption. Very American. Very Christian.”)

However, there may be other motivations. Burnett predicted to the Times, “I think this will have the biggest audience History has ever had.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.