- (Photo: Grace Hill Media)
Mark Burnett, producer of the History Channel's "The Bible" miniseries, which has skyrocketed to record-breaking ratings since its premiere on Sunday, said in a previous interview that "weird things happened during filming" of the show, and he believes "the hand of God" was helping to complete the series.
Burnett's miniseries gained a whopping 14.8 million viewers for its season premiere on Sunday, making it the no. 1 cable television event of the year.
Before the series premiered, however, Burnett predicted the show's success in a recently published interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying that a number of strange incidences happened during filming which possibly pointed to divine intervention.
"It will be, over the next 40 or 50 years, the most watched thing that Roma and I have ever made," Burnett told EW in a January interview, referencing the production efforts put into the series by himself and his wife, Roma Downey of "Touched By An Angel."
"I really believe what I'm going to tell you right now. The hand of God was on this … the edit came together perfectly, the actors came together perfectly, it just comes to life," Burnett continued.
Burnett went on to give several examples of strange incidences that happened on set, telling EW: "Weird things happened during filming."
"Everybody would look at each other like, 'Whoa,'" he added.
As the producer told EW, one such incident happened when the crew was filming a night scene between Jesus and Nicodemus.
Reportedly, when Jesus referenced the Holy Spirit as being like the wind, a huge gust of air blew across the entire crew for 20 seconds, which was filming the scene on a very still night in the Sahara desert.
In another incident, the set's snake wrangler, who usually recovered one or two snakes per day on set to protect crew members, found 48 cobras and vipers hidden near the scene of the cross, where the crew was to film Jesus' crucifixion.
The third incident, according to Burnett, happened when the crew was filming a baptism scene in a giant Sahara reservoir and part of Jesus' detailed costume, which took months to create, floated away.
According to Burnett, a young boy from miles away returned the costume days later.
Burnett, who has previously produced such hits as "Survivor," "Celebrity Apprentice," and "Shark Tank," expressed his thankfulness to God after the success of "The Bible" premiere.
"We know God moved last night," Burnett and Downey said in a statement on Monday.
"People of all denominations showed the power that can be unleashed in our culture when we band together, individual believers with a shared purpose and vision. The world is won when the church is one," the Hollywood power couple added.
On Sunday, "The Bible" beat out CBS' "The Good Wife," earning a 6.7 household rating/10 share on Nielsen Ratings' overnight report.
Sunday's episode concluded with the Israelites reaching the city of Jericho - a story from the book of Joshua - and will pick back up this upcoming Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on the History Channel.