Mark Burnett & Roma Downey's The Bible Premieres to Epic Ratings
03/05/2013 AT 04:00 PM EST
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."