National Geographic Channel’s March 29th premiere of KILLING JESUS — hailed by critics as “gritty and moving,” “beautifully subtle,” “compelling” and “thoughtful” — set record ratings for the network, with 3.7 million persons 2+ tuning in to the three-hour special, the highest total viewership in NGC’s history!
For the premiere airing at 8 p.m. E/7C, KILLING JESUS garnered a 2.8 HH rating — the second highest HH in network history — and a 1.0 P25-54.
Furthermore, the 1.0 P25-54 is the highest rated P25-54 since the premiere of KILLING KENNEDY in November 2013 (1.1 P25-54) and is more than 300% higher than NGC’s Sunday 8-11 p.m. average so far this calendar year.
Since its launch, the KILLING JESUS film microsite (natgeotv.com/killingjesus) has generated over 1 million impressions, with the average visitor spending approximately 30 minutes on the site. Last night, the microsite garnered a 125% increase above daily visitor average (and a 10% increase over KILLING KENNEDY site visits on its premiere day), propelling it as the network’s best performing digital show extension to date.
KILLING JESUS encored on FOX News Channel Friday, April 3, at 8 p.m. ET and Easter Sunday, April 5, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Produced by Scott Free Productions and based on the New York Times best-selling book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, the film dives deep inside the historical story of how Jesus’ message and preachings led to his persecution and execution by a group of conspirators who saw him as a threat to their power. The film is the third collaboration between NGC, Scott Free and Bill O’Reilly, whose first two projects together, Emmy-nominated KILLING KENNEDY and KILLING LINCOLN, were respectively the two most watched programs in the network’s history until last night.
“KILLING JESUS was our most ambitious production to date, coupled with one of our largest cross-platform promotional campaigns,” said National Geographic Channels CEO Courteney Monroe. “We are thrilled that audiences responded to the film with the same enthusiasm and passion we had for this production since day one. The success of our premiere last night is due to the hard work and dedication of the production team on the ground in Morocco, the talented and versatile cast and the support of our partners at National Geographic and Fox.”
The film also premiered March 29th on Nat Geo MUNDO in the U.S., and aired globally in 171 countries in 45 languages.
With a script from Academy and Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Walon Green (“The Wild Bunch”), and directed by BAFTA Award-winner Chris Menaul (“The Passion of Ayn Rand,” “Fatherland”), KILLING JESUS brings a rich perspective to Jesus’ story that clearly intrigued believers and nonbelievers alike. Combining epic cinematography with intimate storytelling, the film was shot entirely in the Moroccan desert with a crew of 250 and more than 4,500 extras. The 93 speaking roles are brought to life by an incredibly diverse cast, with actors representing Lebanon, Morocco, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Great Britain, Israel, Canada, Syria, Australia and the United States. The massive production, unlike anything undertaken by National Geographic Channel before, put familiar Biblical characters under a new lens to give them layers of meaning rarely explored before.
Part of the network’s ambitious promotional campaign included a vast second-screen experience, available at natgeotv.com/killingjesus, featuring more than 72 interactive scenes brought to life through 2-D photo-realistic original illustrations.
The critically acclaimed cast (“great performances,”) included Kelsey Grammer (“Partners,” “Boss”) as King Herod the Great; Stephen Moyer (“True Blood”) as Pontius Pilate; Haaz Sleiman (“The Visitor”) in the title role as Jesus; Rufus Sewell (“Hercules”) as Caiaphas; Emmanuelle Chriqui (“Entourage”) as Herodia; Eoin Macken (“The Night Shift”) as Antipas; John Rhys Davies (“Indiana Jones”) as Annas; Abhin Galeya as John the Baptist; Stephanie Leonidas (“Defiance”) as Salome; Joe Doyle (“Reign”) as Judas; Alexis Rodney (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) as Simon (Peter); and Chris Ryman (“28 Weeks Later”) as Malchus.
Source: Biscuit Media Group