‘The Bible’ Trounces Perennial Sunday Ratings King ’60 Minutes’ (and Everything Else)

Mike Opelka

It’s official, “The Bible” is a ratings smash.


After producer Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey referred to the Bible as “the most read, most influential book of all time,” the first episode of their new mini-series on History Channel about that influential book delivered in a very large way. Here are some of the noteworthy numbers:

In the 8-10pm time slot, The Bible’s total audience number (13.1 million) for this first episode was nothing short of “biblical.”

In comparison with the broadcast networks not a single program offered by CBS, NBC, Fox, or ABC even came close to the 13.1 million viewers watching the first airing of the History channel’s epic new series. The CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” pulled in 11.95 million viewers. “The Amazing Race” (also from Mark Burnett) had 9.12 million people watching. NBC also spent the past few weeks promoting the return of Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” Trump’s show managed only 5.08 million viewers.

The History channel is obviously thrilled by the ratings for the first episode of the series. The massive audience for “The Bible” also helped the show that followed it. “Vikings” – the first scripted series for the channel debuted on Sunday night as well. From 10-11pm, it delivered 6.2 million total viewers.

Additional episodes of  “The Bible” will air Sunday nights through March 31st, Easter Sunday. See a sneak preview of episode two here.

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