Roma Downey, Mark Burnett pitch new series

by Karen L. Willoughby, |
Television producer Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey arrive at the 2014 People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California January 8, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian

LOS ANGELES (Christian Examiner) -- Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett plan to add to their growing media presence with a reality show set to air next year on The Learning Channel (TLC Network).

It is described as a six-part series on answered prayers that will follow people who claim to have benefited from "modern-day miracles, incredible twists of fate, and phenomena that logic and science cannot explain," according to a press release from the network.

"TLC is always looking for remarkable, heart-warming, and eye-opening stories," TLC general manager Nancy Daniels said. "This project, and our fantastic partnership with Roma and Mark, will deliver a television experience that connects with the hearts, minds and faith of our viewers."

Downey, an actress born in Ireland, achieved general fame and earned a number of awards when she starred with Della Reese in the Michael Landon-produced series, "Touched by an Angel," which first aired in 1994 and ran until 2003—and still reaches audiences through syndication and DVD sales.

Burnett's credits include The Apprentice, Survivor, The Voice, and more. He has won four Emmy Awards and four People's Choice awards.

Last year, Downey and Burnett produced "The Bible" on the History Channel, a 10-hour series that was compressed into the 2.5-hour feature film "Son of God," released in February by 20th Century Fox. More than 100 million people watched the series in the U.S. alone.

It has been the number one downloaded television program on iTunes, and, it is ranked number 2 on Amazon's best sellers in movies and TV.

Plans also include the six-part series "A.D." for NBC. First announced in July 2013, the episodes will follow the spread of Christianity after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

In December 2013 CBS announced Downey and Burnett are to produce a miniseries called "The Dovekeepers," based on the New York Times bestseller by Alice Hoffman, which is set to air in 2015.

And down the road, a remake of the movie "Ben-Hur" is in the works.

Downey said the prayer project speaks to her and husband Mark's passion about offering people a positive and uplifting experience.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to work with TLC and host a series that will inspire and encourage viewers to remember that even in the worst circumstances, prayer can lead to divine intervention."

In a 2012 Washington Post article, Downey said "The Bible" miniseries developed out of a resolve to do something instead of "cursing the darkness." Released through their production company, LightWorkers Media, she said the miniseries "grew so popular that we were able to make it into our Jesus film, 'Son of God.'"

She also hinted "The Bible" project encountered its share of opposition, even spiritual barriers.

"You may think of me as a gentle Irish angel, but nobody, not even the devil, should mess with me," she said. "Get behind me Satan."

She added that "The Bible" is a love story, "and nothing anyone can do will stop that message from reaching millions of people.

"The darkness is no match for the light, something we are assured of in the book of John where it says: 'And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.'"