NBC Wins 'The Bible' Sequel Series 'A.D.: Beyond The Bible,' Plus New Sketch Comedy Series?

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Anyone following NBC in recent years would know of the network's occasional ratings trouble, but could the network's newest projects bring in an audience of biblical proportions? Following the mammoth success of History's 'The Bible,' NBC has won the rights to air Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's sequel series 'A.D.: Beyond the Bible,' and may look to develop a new sketch comedy series, as well.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, 'A.D.: Beyond the Bible' will mark the first project under NBC's new long-form programming initiative, and chronicle the days after Christ's crucifixion, as depicted in the climax of series creator Mark Burnett's 'The Bible' for History. Garnering upwards of 13 million viewers in its original airing, 'The Bible' has gone on to become the top-selling miniseries of all time, having sold more than 1 million copies in the past few months.

“I followed the development process of 'The Bible' closely with Mark and knew that the story was far from over after Christ’s crucifixion. In fact, what happened in the aftermath -- which is essentially the beginning of Christianity -- is utterly fascinating," said Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. "The day after 'The Bible' premiered, I told Mark we were on board with no hesitation for the follow-up miniseries. This will be attention-getting in every way, and we’re proud to continue our association with Mark, which has just grown exponentially from 'The Voice.'”

Perhaps even more surprising, THR reveals that NBC has also begun development of a new sketch comedy series under former Comedy Central Senior VP of Original Programming Lou Wallach, said to be a launching platform for its stars in much the same way 'SNL' has come to represent. Few specifics are known for the moment, though production will soon begin the search for writers, performers and comedians to develop the series around. One conclusive detail, however, is that NBC's new sketch comedy series won't operate in a live format.

Well, what say you? Will NBC's own 'A.D.: Beyond the Bible' prove as big a smash as its predecessor? What do you make of the new sketch comedy series idea floating around?

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