Mark Burnett & Roma Downey's The Bible Premieres to Epic Ratings

History Channel's The Bible Premiere Earns Epic Ratings: Are You Watching?
A scene from The Bible
Lightworkers Media/Hearst Productions

03/05/2013 AT 04:00 PM EST

Now playing on a TV near you, The Bible.

Produced by Touched by an Angel actress Roma Downey and television producer Mark Burnett – who created Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice and The Voice – the 10-hour History channel docudrama began Sunday night.

The series premiered to 13.1 million total viewers, according to Nielsen, making it cable television's no. 1 entertainment telecast of the year.

Based on biblical texts from Genesis to Revelation, the History channel says the "unforgettable stories unfold through live action and cutting-edge computer-generated imagery, offering new insight into famous scenes and iconic characters."

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