×

Netflix Orders Mark Burnett, Roma Downey Religious Drama ‘Messiah’ to Series

Netflix has officially ordered the religious drama “Messiah” to series, Variety has learned.

The series will premiere on the streaming service in 2019. News of its development first broke in March. It was created by writer Michael Petroni who brought the project to Netflix with Mark Burnett. Both men will executive produce along with Roma Downey, Andrew Deane, and James McTeigue. McTeigue will also direct.

“’Messiah’ promises to be a fascinating series for viewers of every faith, and a thrilling drama filled with multi-layered characters set on a global stage,” said Cindy Holland, vice president of original content for Netflix.

The series will chronicle the modern world’s reaction to a man who first appears in the Middle East creating a groundswell of followers around him claiming he is the Messiah. In ten hour-long episodes, the story unfolds from multiple points of view, including a young CIA agent, an Israeli Shin Bet officer, a Latino preacher and his Texan daughter, a Palestinian refugee and the media, among others.

Petroni’s previous credits include the creating the ABC drama “Miracles,” which starred Skeet Ulrich as an investigator working on behalf of the Catholic Church. He also wrote the screenplay for the feature film adaptation of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and the 2011 Anthony Hopkins exorcism horror-drama “The Rite.” Netflix is producing the series, while MGM Television, of which Burnett is the president, is not involved with the project.

“‘Messiah’ is a series that will have the audience asking big questions. What if someone showed up in 2018 amid strange occurrences and was thought to be the Messiah?  What would society do? How would the media cover him? Would millions simply quit work? Could government’s collapse?” said Downey and Burnett.”It’s a series that could change everything.”

This is the latest religion-based project for Burnett and Downey. The husband and wife team previously collaborated on the History miniseries “The Bible,” the TV movie “Women of the Bible” at Lifetime, “A.D. The Bible Continues” on NBC, and “The Dovekeepers” at CBS, among others. Burnett is also well known for producing reality TV hits such as “Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” and “Shark Tank.”Petroni is repped by WME and Industry Entertainment Partners.

More TV

  • Kamala Harris

    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Face Rematch in Next Democratic Debate

    Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris will have the opportunity to square off again in the second debate among Democratic hopefuls vying for their party’s nomination in the 2020 presidential election CNN, which will broadcast the next round of debates on July 30 and 31, televised a draw Thursday night that decided [...]

  • Jon Wax

    Jon Wax Joins Amazon Studios as Head of Genre Programming

    YouTube’s head of scripted programming Jon Wax is joining Amazon Studios as its head of genre programming, Variety has learned. Wax will take up the position recently vacated by Sharon Tal Yguado. He had joined YouTube in August 2017, heading up drama, unscripted and current programming for YouTube’s premium channel. Prior to that, he had [...]

  • South Park Donald Trump

    TV News Roundup: Comedy Central Sets 'South Park' Season 23 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Comedy Central announces the premiere date of “South Park” Season 23 and Netflix sets the premiere date and offers a first look at “Unbelievable.”  DATES Comedy Central announced that Season 23 of “South Park” will premiere Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. Because the episodes are written and animated so [...]

  • US actor Kevin Spacey (C) is

    Kevin Spacey Shouldn't Be Exonerated in Hollywood Even as Criminal Case Ends (Column)

    The news that criminal charges against Kevin Spacey in the Nantucket groping case have been dropped raises an inevitable question: does this mean he can claw his way back into Hollywood’s good graces? Or maybe more importantly: should it?  Spacey’s rapid descent was startling, even as it quickly followed that of the once untouchable producing [...]

  • Game of Thrones

    HBO's Return to Emmy Nomination Dominance May Be Short-Lived (Column)

    As Hollywood braces for the coming streaming wars, HBO’s huge Emmy nomination haul this week sent a new salvo Netflix’s way: The streamer may have the volume, but HBO still has the goods. At least this year. HBO’s record-breaking 137 nominations came on the strength of just 23 programs — led, of course, by “Game [...]

  • Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer

    Starz Nears Realignment: Why Lionsgate Won't Hire a CEO to Replace Chris Albrecht

    Nearly six months after Starz CEO Chris Albrecht exited in February, Lionsgate brass is moving closer to a revamp of the premium TV network’s executive structure. According to insiders, at least one thing is clear: Albrecht is not expected to be replaced as CEO. Instead, Lionsgate chief executive Jon Feltheimer is taking a more active [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content