Will ‘The Bible’ on History Channel win the ratings battle again?

The mini-series “The Bible” continues with part 2; “Homeland,” tonight on History Channel Photo: History Channel/ The Bible

WASHINGTONMarch 10, 2013 —Last Sunday night the epic miniseries “The Bible” premiered with impressive numbers. “The Bible” beat all broadcasts, major networks included, with over 13 million viewers tuning in. 

With History Channel’s broadcasts of “The Bible” and “Vikings,” and AMC’s ratings king “The Walking Dead” capturing most viewers, basic cable left the major networks scratching their heads in wonder last Sunday night. They haven’t yet figured out that their audience is tired of notoriety driving entertainment, and just want someone to tell them a good story. 

SEE RELATED: TV tonight: Part one of the mini-series “The Bible” on History Channel

Let’s hope this is a sign that TV audiences are sick of celebrities assuming the fact that they’re participating is reason enough to watch, regardless of the content. Maybe the entertainment pendulum has finally started swinging away from manufactured hubris like “Celebrity Apprentice” and “American Idol,” and back in the direction of engaging story telling like “The Bible” and “Vikings.”

The first part of “The Bible” was a bit cheesy, but telling a story about good people doing good things based on faith will always suffer the criticism of a cynical audience.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth watching, because it is. It just means different people will have different reactions based upon their own brand of faith.

SEE RELATED: TV tonight: “The Following” holds its own, “Zero-Hour” gets cancelled

Just one word of advice for future biblical story telling endeavors; leave the ninja angel on the floor of the editing room.

No Hollywood gimmicks are needed when repeating the greatest story ever told.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EST:

7 p.m.

CBS: 60 Minutes: (New) Scott Pelley investigates the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 48 people and sickened hundreds of others; Norah O’Donnell profiles Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg; Lara Logan reports on construction of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

NBC: Celebrity Apprentice: (Repeat) Season 13 opens with 14 returning celebrities tasked to sell meatballs in a charity competition, but there are beefs due to a power struggle and an unorthodox approach to the mission. Stars include Trace Adkins, Stephen Baldwin and Gary Busey.

8 p.m. 

ABC: Once Upon a Time: (New) Cora and Regina try to overpower Mr. Gold; dark magic tempts Mary Margaret; Rumplestiltskin offers his services to Cora.

CBS: Amazing Race 22: (New) The stress of the Race brings one Racer to tears and another Team makes history while trying to avoid elimination.

FOX: The Simpsons: (New) When Flanders’ parents prove to prefer Homer’s company to his, he jealously responds by giving Homer a shiner, and then tries desperately to reconcile with him. Meanwhile, Lisa is at a loss to understand why a new substitute teacher is bullying her for no obvious reason.

History Channel: The Bible: (New) Part 2 of 5. Joshua conquers Jericho; Delilah betrays Samson; and David battles Goliath.

8:30 p.m.

FOX: The Cleveland Show: (New) It’s “skip day” at Cleveland Jr.’s school and everyone skips school—except for Cleveland Jr. This embarrasses his dad. Meanwhile, Rallo gets in a hit-and-run accident with Kendra, who’s on her scooter. Michael McDonald has a voice cameo as himself. 

9 p.m.

ABC: Revenge: (New) Following the devastation on The Amanda, Emily’s commitment to seeking vengeance is renewed; everyone in the Hamptons mourns a loss.

CBS: The Good Wife: (New) Jailed drug dealer Lemond Bishop requests that Alicia work with lawyer Charles Lester, but as witnesses against Bishop begin recanting their testimony, she begins to suspect that Lester’s meek appearance isn’t all it seems. Also, Kalinda is forced to train a new investigator and Cary makes a risky move.

FOX: Family Guy: (New) When financial woes compel Lois to get a job, she’s discovered by a voice-over talent agent who hires her for a well-paying gig at an adults-only phone line, where she’s rather surprised when one of her callers turns out to be Peter. 

NBC: Celebrity Apprentice: (New) The teams jet to Universal Orlando Resort in Florida to produce an interactive 3-D photo experience, but an indecisive project manager and a tyrannical leader mar the mission.

SHOWTIME: Shameless: (New) The family gathers for Aunt Ginger’s fake funeral, where they meet Frank’s cousin Patrick.

AMC: The Walking Dead:

(New) Rick and the Governor contemplate a peace treaty.

9:30 p.m.

FOX: Bob’s Burgers: (New) Louise expects to get a charge out of taking down her Thomas Edison-obsessed science teacher when she re-creates one of the famous inventor’s experiments that involved electrocuting an elephant.

10 p.m.

ABC: Red Widow: (New) Crucial details of Marta’s illegal drug shipment change at the last minute; Boris remembers a disturbing detail of his father’s murder.

CBS: The Mentalist: (New) Lorelei resurfaces and wants to know if Red John is linked to her sister’s death. Meanwhile, Jane must admit to Lisbon that he played a role in Lorelei’s jailbreak.

SHOWTIME: House of Lies: (New) Marty confronts issues of love, race, and family at home in the aftermath of his traumatic encounter.

10:30 p.m.

SHOWTIME: Californication: (New) Hank looks for inspiration from Faith, and Becca contemplates alternate careers.

Basic cable:

New episodes of

Wicked Tuna: Hooked Up at 8 p.m. on NGC

Cupcake Wars at 8 p.m. on Food Channel

Wicked Tuna at 9 p.m. on NGC

Worst Cooks in America at 9 p.m. on Food Channel

The Real Housewives of Atlanta at 8 p.m. on BRAVO

Shahs of Sunset at 9 p.m. on BRAVO

Gator Boys at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet

Kourtney and Kim take Miami at 9 p.m. on E!

Army Wives at 9 p.m. on LIFE

Gypsy Sisters at 9 p.m. on TLC

Finding Bigfoot at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet

Restaurant Impossible at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Vikings at 10 p.m. on History Channel

Mudcats at 10 p.m. on NGC

Bar Rescue at 10 p.m. on SPIKE

Storage Hunters at 10 p.m. on truTV

Mob Wives at 10 p.m. on VH1

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Happy Gilmore on ABCFAM

Resident Evil on BBC

Heathers on FLIX

Knowing on FMC

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on ENC

Larry Crowne on HBO

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison on TCM

Gran Torino on TNT

Later tonight:

Rambo 4 at 9:15 p.m. on IFC

Million Dollar Baby at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

North Country at 10 p.m. on HBO

Dream House at 10 p.m. on HBO

Knight and day at 10:30 p.m. on FX

READ MORE from Lisa King and TV Den

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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