NBC has closed the book on its religion-themed A.D. The Bible Continues, a follow-up to Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s The Bible that failed to reach ratings numbers anywhere near those of its predecessor.
A.D. premiered on Easter and was originally billed as an event miniseries, though it had been indicated that additional seasons were part of the plan provided viewers flocked to it. But the same demographic that made The Bible successful never materialized, leaving NBC with little choice but to cut the series short.
The series also drew dire ratings from critics, with our Mitchel Broussard saddling it with one-and-a-half stars and critiquing everything from stiff acting to cruddy costuming. Without much positive word-of-mouth, there was never significant hope that the ratings would spike later in the season.
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A.D. isn’t completely dead yet, though – Burnett and Downey are currently plotting a revival for the series on the OTT channel they’re planning to launch with MGM at some point in late 2016 or early 2017. The online network will focus on faith- and religion-based original scripted content, and given that A.D. was made by the pair’s Lightworkers Media banner, the show is an obvious fit.
With the channel a while off, actors have been released from their contracts, which may mean that recasting is necessary to get A.D. up and running again once production is back in full swing.
For NBC, however, the cancellation of A.D. means that the only freshman series in the 2014-15 season returning for additional episodes are modestly rated The Mysteries of Laura and period detective drama Aquarius, which was by no means a hit but allows NBC to continue experimenting with binge-viewing. A to Z, Allegiance, American Odyssey, Bad Judge, Constantine, Marry Me, One Big Happy, The Slap and State of Affairs all underperformed for the struggling network, leaving it with one of its worst seasons in recent memory.