What to watch after ‘The Bible’


After five weeks of watching The Bible on History, you might be thinking of continuing to tune in to religious shows on TV. What other faith-based programming airs Sunday nights? Plenty. And what can top The Bible? That depends on your own religion.

First, most immediately, here’s what’s on TV tomorrow. History has The Ax Men in its Bible slot, so find another channel.

You might go for church music and turn to BET, which has Celebration of Gospel 2013, hosted by Steve Harvey, at 8 p.m. Following that, at 10 p.m., is the premiere of The Sheards, a reality show about a Detroit family—Bishop J. Drew Sheard of Greater Emmanuel Church of God in Christ, First Lady and gospel star Karen Clark-Sheard, and their two children, Kierra and J. Drew. Kierra and J. Drew are making the transition to adulthood and their own gospel-oriented careers. Since this is a reality show, their path will not be smooth, and the sacred and profane likely will appear in partnership.

On WGTE at 10 p.m., observing Holocaust Remembrance Day, PBS presents Defiant Requiem: Voice of Resistance, a documentary about Jewish prisoners in the Terezin concentration camp in the Czech Republic that performed a Roman Catholic liturgical piece in Latin, Verdi’s Requiem, to condemn their Nazi captors with music; this documentary presents a 60-years-later performance of the Requiem at Terezin.

For religion on TV, maybe you’ll go local and watch WLMB TV 40 (channel 6 on Buckeye CableSystem). Sundays at 8 p.m., Monclova Road Baptist Church has the channel for a half-hour, followed by a rerun of WLMB’s longest-running show at 8:30 p.m., Pastor Points, which features a different preacher each week (it first airs Mondays at 9 p.m.). Tomorrow’s Pastor Points has the Rev. Andy Garber of Life Pointe Church in Waterville speaking on “God Is Building a People.”

Or just click your remote. On cable and satellite systems, there are plenty of church channels—including one called the Church Channel. On Buckeye, channels 179 through 185 are a virtual Bible belt. Among the networks are God TV, Trinity Broadcast Network, JCTV, and the Word Network. A few channels are outside of that bundle, including EWTN for Roman Catholics (cable channel 56).

At this time, there are no dedicated channels in Toledo for faiths other than Christianity.

Does The Bible have a future beyond the miniseries? History seems pleased that the show averaged 10 million viewers each Sunday night, but Heather DiRubba, History’s director of publicity, said The Bible might not be shown again until the Christmas season.

Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey can’t exactly make a sequel to The Bible, but Mr. Burnett told The Christian Post, “We’re working on something right now. Something fantastic. We love the Bible, we love Jesus, and we are committed.” He and Ms. Downey could easily find 10 more hours of Bible stories, they could portray early Christianity by focusing on Paul’s epistles, or maybe they could focus on special effects and bring the book of Revelation to television.

If none of that programming works for you, consider turning off the tube and picking up a book. Maybe read A Story of God and All of Us: A Novel Based on the Epic TV Miniseries The Bible, by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett (Faith Words, 2013). Or read the Bible itself—see what the miniseries left out.

Contact TK Barger at, 419-724-6278 or on Twitter @TK_Barger.