Joel Osteen, reality TV producer Mark Burnett team up for Bible miniseries

Collaboration features Diogo Morgado as Jesus Christ, Roma Downey as Mary

HOUSTON - Houston megachurch pastor Joel Osteen has a new project that hits the small screen soon.

Osteen and his wife, Victoria, have teamed up with reality television producer Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, to put the story of the Bible on TV.

KPRC Local 2 anchor Dominique Sachse talked with the couples about their historic television miniseries.

The pastor has filled stadiums and written numerous best-selling books, but this could be his biggest project yet.

"It's the best of the best," said Victoria Osteen. "Animation, in the scoring of the music, everything is top notch."

Joel Osteen shared his positive outlook on the collaboration with Burnett and Downey.

"We just felt like God caused our paths to cross for a reason," said Joel Osteen.

The 10-hour miniseries on the story of the Bible was shot over six months in Morocco.

"I say 'The Bible' is the most humbling calling to undertake with enormous seriousness," said Burnett.

"We go from Genesis all the way through Revelation, and it really is the greatest story ever told," said Downey.

Jesus Christ is played by Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado.

Downey co-produces the miniseries, but she also has a cameo as a grown-up Mary.

"In the early version of the scripts, we referred to young Mary and old Mary," said Downey. "I said, ‘You know, vanity is a terrible thing, but maybe we could change that from old Mary to mother Mary.'"

Burnett and Downey said they realized they were undertaking a huge responsibility by making the miniseries. They sought the assistance of scholars and theologians to ensure the series has historical integrity.

"We're not qualified to teach the Bible," said Burnett. "But we learned from Joel and Victoria."

The Osteens offered guidance and advice on scripts and the storyline.

"Part of the making of 'The Bible' is you have to have some artistic license, because not everything is recorded," said Joel Osteen. "So I said, ‘Mark, you have to use your gift of storytelling because God has given you creativity and talents in that way.'"

The first of five episodes airs on Sunday, March 3 on the History Channel and culminates on Easter Sunday.

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