TODAY

TODAY   |  February 28, 2013

‘The Bible’ miniseries makers: ‘We felt called to do it’

Reality TV mogul Mark Burnett and his wife, Emmy-nominated actress Roma Downey of “Touched by an Angel,” speak about their motivation for making the “The Bible,” a 10-part miniseries airing on the History Channel starting March 3.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we are back with the real hollywood power couple.

>> yep. she is an emmy nominated actress, best known for her role on " touched by an angel ."

>> he is the reality tv mogul behind hugely popular unskrepted series like "the voice, "survivor."

>> now mark burnett and roma downey are working side-by-side on a new project called "the bible ." a ten-hour miniseries on the history channel . let's take a look.

>> i am here.

>> i am the god of abraham , of isaac, and jacob.

>> you are real.

>> i am. i have seen the misery of my people. i am sending you to pharoah to bring them out of egypt.

>> how can i set them free?

>> i will be with you.

>> wow.

>> epic.

>> welcome.

>> yeah.

>> great to see you two. what an undertaking. four years in the making, right?

>> yes.

>> the bible is a long book. if i was watching a great deal of it, and you are very, very true to the stories. i know that was important to the two of you. you tell a very particular story which you see as one story, don't you? many stories tied together, one story of god calling a people for the benefit of the whole world. am i wrong?

>> we see it as one continual love story . god's love for all of us. a lot of people look at it in snippets. it's one continuous story genesis through revelations.

>> why did you need to do it? it sounds like. you don't take on something like this unless you felt compelled.

>> we felt like a seed was thrown in our hearts. we felt called to do it. it was a great opportunity that we could step in together and work together on this and we're still speaking to each other.

>> and you're still married.

>> how was that? this is a long process, and you guys are really working together for the long time.

>> on location in morocco for how many months?

>> five months. we had dust in places we didn't know existed.

>> a lot of krif iss and cracks in your body.

>> it's been incredible, though. really. we've enjoyed it. there have been moments, i'm sure, when we thought we might kill each other, but we've made it, and i think that it's deepened our friendship. it's deepened our marriage, and it's deepened our faith.

>> mention being married to an angel and ok the set with 400 people, they're always going to take the wrong side in every disagreement. don't listen to what i say.

>> you have assembled an extraordinary cast, including your wife, who plays the mother of jesus, and nobody is saying for sure how much money was put into this thing, but whatever you put into it shows in the production value of it. i saw a little bit at your house a couple of months ago, and i thought, whoa, they didn't shishg on the money on this thing.

>> when you look at the clip you just showed, that could have come off --

>> as cheesy.

>> yeah. it looks terrific.

>> we hired an incredible special effects company out of london. we wanted to be able to bring all of these wonderful moments. daniel and the lions, jesus walking on water, moses crossing the red sea to life with the latest and greatest cgi.

>> do you discover that most people who think the bible are boring are the ones that have actually never read it? you can say a lot of things about the bible , but it is not boring. it has so much drama. you want sex, lies, and there wasn't videotape, but if there had been, right? it's extraordinary human drama .

>> great story in its own. you think about it. shakespeare wouldn't have existed really without the bible . 1,200 quotes in there, including lord of the rings , narnia. none of these movies would exist without the bible .

>> there's so much biblical illiteracy and references in regular literature, and this will help. what do you want people to take away from the whole thing, real quickly?

>> it's a love story . we all topt reconnect with the bible . we found on this journey a lot of biblical illiteracy. it's sort of embarrassing, actually. people who don't even know --

>> take the book back down off the shelves and be reminded how amazing it is and reexperience it.

>> it's a modern translation. that will help.

>> thank you both so much. it starts this sunday. two-hour premier of "the bible " on sunday, march 3rd , at 8:00, 7:00 central on the history channel .