National Geographic Channel’s adaptation of Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Jesus, nabbed 3.7 million viewers across Sunday night — the biggest audience in history. The channel noted that the 8 PM premiere’s 1.0 rating in adults 25-54 is the highest rating for that demo since the net’s November 2013 premiere of O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy, which clocked a 1.1, and 300% higher than NatGeo’s Sunday 8-11 PM average this calendar year.
O’Reilly, the American pundit with a long-running show on conservative Fox TV, is virtually synonymous with “opinionated.” He makes his living using those opinions to bully anyone who disagrees with him, including guests on his show. Recently, O’Reilly’s disregard of facts has been especially well-documented.
A Catholic self-described “traditionalist,” O’Reilly can’t be trusted not to confuse religious interpretation with historical fact. Thus, if we see Killing Jesus as a Bill O’Reilly film, that should remind us that it can’t be an impartial, historical film at the same time.
Those numbers constitute a 300% increase compared to NatGeo’s average ratings between 8 and 11 p.m. on Sunday nights so far this year. Fox News plans to show the film this coming Friday night as well as Easter Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
Cast of Killing Jesus included Kelsey Grammer as King Herod the Great; Stephen Moyer as Pontius Pilate; Haaz Sleiman in the title role as Jesus; Rufus Sewell as Caiaphas; Emmanuelle Chriqui as Herodia; Eoin Macken as Antipas; and John Rhys Davies as Annas.