After Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy, U.S. net National Geographic Channel (NGC) is continuing in the factual drama vein with Killing Jesus, a Scott Free-produced adaptation of Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s book Killing Jesus: A History (pictured).
The commission for the drama – which will air on NGC in 171 countries and 38 languages in 2014 – marks the second collaboration between National Geographic and O’Reilly, after the network scored a ratings hit with an adaptation of the author’s book Killing Lincoln earlier this year.
NGC said the factual drama would “be true to the incredibly popular narrative storytelling devices used by O’Reilly in his previous two books, telling the story of Jesus of Nazareth as a beloved and controversial young revolutionary brutally killed by Roman soldiers, and recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable and the changes that his life brought upon the world for the centuries to follow.”
The book is due to be published by Henry Holt and Company on September 24, and production on the television event will begin this fall.
In a statement, O’Reilly said: “Jesus is the most famous person that has ever lived – and is worshipped today by more than 2.2 billion people. This story is not only rich with detail, controversy and drama, but also personal to so many people that I would not trust it to anyone else to bring to life on the screen.”
Scott Free co-founder Ridley Scott added: “The public is fascinated with the tragic tales of these renowned historical figures, and this is one of the most dramatic stories ever told,” while NGC president Howard T. Owens said Scott Free “continue to be ideal partners as we work to increase our commitment to producing quality, smart, factual dramas and delivering authentic entertainment with substance.”
The news comes after the network yesterday held its upfront presentation for 2013, with CEO David Lyle telling realscreen that viewers can expect further factual dramas throughout the year.