By Mark Ellis
The hit miniseries The Bible is setting records on cable television for the History Channel, with as many as 13 million viewers tuning in for the blockbuster. But certain aspects of the filming were even more remarkable, as producer Mark Burnett reports highly unusual occurrences behind-the-scenes that he labels miracles.
The epic five-part series, which runs through Easter, is the most-watched entertainment program on cable television, according to ABC’s Good Morning America.
The show has many celebrities following it, including rapper and actor L L Cool J, actress Lisa Rinna, and even Oprah, according to ABC. Oprah tweeted throughout the most recent episode several times, particularly about Samson: “Samson distracted by Delilah. fatal flaw,” she noted. Oprah’s interest and involvement may boost the ratings even higher.
R & B superstar Cee Lo Green’s musical addition to the production is also attracting a younger audience, giving a fresh new feel to a time-honored story.
The making of the TV behemoth was filled with strange happenings that Producer Mark Burnett can’t quite explain. When the actor who portrays Jesus told Nicodemus “The Holy Spirit is like the wind,” a strong rushing wind that felt like the exhaust behind a 747 almost blew the set over and sustained for 20 seconds, Burnett told Entertainment Weekly.
“Everyone just looked at everyone like, ‘What just happened?’” Burnett said.
The production – filmed in Morocco — also hired a ‘snake wrangler’ to make sure that dangerous reptiles did not get near the actors, and he usually found one or two snakes each day.
However, on the day the momentous crucifixion scene was filmed, the snake expert found an unprecedented 48 venomous snakes crawling around their re-created Golgotha – the place where Jesus defeated Satan, who is often depicted in Scripture as a snake.
When the baptism of Jesus was filmed in a reservoir, the producers were alarmed when part of the actor’s unique costume came off and floated away.
“Four days later, a kid showed up from many, many, many miles away, who had been seeking us through the desert to return this to us,” Burnett told Entertainment Weekly. “He didn’t know what it was why he should seek us, but he felt he had to return it.”
The series will air its final installment on March 31, Easter Sunday.