One of the nation’s top journalists is going behind the scenes of The Chosen in an hour-long special Sunday night on NewsNation that will include a visit to the set and interviews with cast and crew.
Adrienne Bankert, co-anchor of NewsNation’s Morning in America, will host The Chosen Phenomenon Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern, examining how the Bible-based television series has become a worldwide hit as many Hollywood television series are struggling to attract viewers.
It will include interviews with director Dallas Jenkins and cast members Jonathan Roumie, Elizabeth Tabish, and Vanessa Benavente. Also appearing on the show will be the president of production Mark Sourian and long-time Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren.
Bankert recently visited the set, which is a replica of the city of Capernaum.
“It’s beautiful, it’s historically accurate,” Bankert told Christian Headlines, noting that her interviews took place before the strikes in Hollywood.
There is, Bankert said, a “growing audience for faith-based programming.” The series’ popularity, she added, can be attributed to its quality and uniqueness.
“It’s done with excellence,” Bankert said. “For a lot of people, they’ve seen a lot of cheesy projects. And that’s not my word – I actually talked to members of the cast and they said that they were grateful that this wasn’t cheesy, that this was something that they could be proud of, that they saw the quality of the production. … This is the largest crowdfunded entertainment project of all time. More people get behind it with every episode.”
The Chosen is unique, she said, because it spotlights Christ’s followers.
“We have never really seen a real-life portrayal of the followers of Jesus. We have seen a lot of projects about Jesus’ life,” she said.
Meanwhile, Bankert said Jenkins told her that the idea for The Chosen came only after he had experienced a low moment in his career.
“He talks about how he was trying to be a big shot in L.A. and Hollywood and make his next big film and make lots of money and get lots of acclaim. And [then] his film project flopped,” Bankert toldChristian Headlines. “… His career, he thought, was over. And so he kind of moved back to Illinois and kind of had – I call it – and he agreed, a come-to-Jesus meeting, and was volunteering with his church. And he came up with the idea of the story of The Chosen.”
The series is entering its fourth season. An estimated 110 million people have watched The Chosen worldwide.
“It’s just crazy,” she said. “… It’s showcasing hope in a way that many people need today more than ever.”
NewsNation is America’s fastest-growing national cable news network. Learn more about the special at NewsNationNow.com/TheChosen.
Photo courtesy: ©NewsNation, used with permission.
Video courtesy: ©NewsNation YouTube channel
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star, and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.