TODAY   |  March 05, 2013

‘The Bible’ is year’s number-one cable program

Over 13 million viewers flocked to The History Channel on Sunday evening, making the first installment of ten-hour miniseries “The Bible” the number-one cable entertainment program of the year. NBC’s Andrea Canning reports.

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>>> with the new history channel miniseries that has a lot of people talking and apparently a lot of people watching . nbc's andrea canning has details on that. good morning.

>> good morning. i guess tv executives take note, right? the history channel -- over at the history channel after "the bible's" weekend numbers took in over 13 million viewers. why did this new telling of the good book take in so many ratings? some say it's the dazzling effects and contemporary tunes.

>> this is the bible.

>> it's the bible like you've never seen it before. from genesis to revelations, the history channel 's first installment of the ten-hour miniseries is a major hit.

>> i am coming soon.

>> over 13 million viewers flocked to the cable network on sunday, making "the bible" the number one cable entertainment program of the year. so big, it trended number one on twitter.

>> they marketed this miniseries very well. they did a lot of outreach to religious groups and explained why this is going to be a big, epic show that everyone should tune in to watch.

>> reporter: while the numbers exceeded expectations, "the bible's" success is no miracle. the tv series was produced by mark burnett , the man behind such hits as "survivor," "the voice" and "" celebrity apprentice ." he and his wife were inspired by the ten commandments, the film starring charleton heston . they explained to kathie lee and hoda how they used modern technology to resurrect the ancient tales of the bible for a new generation.

>> we wanted to be able to bring all of these wonderful moments, daniel and the lions, jesus walking on water to life with the latest and greatest.

>> what we found on this journey, a lot of -- it's embarrassing really.

>> what better way to tell the story of jesus than to have cee lo green sing about it?

>> his name is jesus .

>> mark burnett has consistently shown himself to be a producer who appeals to the populous viewer.

>> we'll have to wait and see if the ratings hold. new episodes air on the history channel each sunday in march with the final installment airing on eastern sunday i remember roma downey from " touched by an angel ." i think i was the only young