- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 5, 2013

NEW YORKIn the latest television ratings, the Bible is hot and aspiring pop stars are not.

The History network’s first installment of the miniseries “The Bible” aired twice Sunday, for a total audience of 14.8 million people — topping both of last week’s episodes of “American Idol.”  

“The Bible,” produced by the husband-and-wife team of “Survivor” creator Mark Burnett and actress Roma Downey (“Touched By an Angel”), will air in four more installments concluding March 31, Easter Sunday.

“The Bible” appears to be a hit along the lines of History’s “Hatfields & McCoys” miniseries last spring. 

Mostly due to curiosity about the series, History’s website had its most visited day ever on Sunday, said Nancy Dubuc, president of entertainment and media for the A&E networks.

“Clearly, the passion for this project has resonated with our viewers and across the nation,” Ms. Dubuc said. “We are thrilled, and the story is only just beginning.”

Meanwhile, both of last week’s episodes of “American Idol” had the smallest audiences — 13.3 million viewers on on Wednesday, 12.6 million Thursday — since the series joined Fox’s regular schedule more than a decade ago, the Nielsen company said.


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