Cable TV once again siphoned off viewers from the broadcast networks Sunday night as History channel's miniseries The Bible averaged 13.1 million viewers during its initial two-hour telecast, which began at 8:00 p.m., then added 1.7 million more during a late-night repeat. That number topped every program that aired on broadcast TV on Sunday. Moreover, the drama drew 5 million adults in the 18-49 age group. For History, it marked the best day in its history. In a statement, Nancy Dubuc, president of entertainment and media for A+E Networks, which owns History, said that the success catapulted History into one of the most powerful brands across the media landscape, and we could not be more thrilled and more proud. We are the No. 1 cable entertainment telecast of the year to date! However, the series has already touched off considerable controversy over whether the bible should be treated as history. Writing in the Huffington Post Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, a bible scholar who has served on the faculties of Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College, commented that the History channel's miniseries distorts the Bible's original spirit and does a disservice both to history and to the Bible. Only some biblical stories were meant to be taken as history, he maintained, while others are clearly apocryphal. The Bible, however, paints the Bible with a single brush. However, Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe of the Christian Post called the miniseries a remarkable spiritual and emotional experience.
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