NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL PARTNERS WITH SCOTT FREE PRODUCTIONS TO PRODUCE BEST-SELLING AUTHOR BILL O’REILLY’S NEXT ANTICIPATED BEST-SELLER KILLING JESUS
Announcement Comes Before Book Hits Stores Sept. 24 of This Year;
Film Version to Air Globally on National Geographic Channels in 2014
(WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 25, 2013) With the record-breaking success of the National Geographic Channel (NGC) factual drama of Bill O’Reilly’s best-selling history “Killing Lincoln,” NGC President Howard T. Owens announced today that the network will once again join forces with Scott Free Productions to produce a film based on “Killing Jesus: A History,” the recently announced book from O’Reilly with co-author Martin Dugard, to be published by Henry Holt and Company on Sept. 24, 2013. The announcement comes as the network is also in pre-production on the film adaptation of “Killing Kennedy,” expected to air globally on National Geographic Channels later this year.
Killing Jesus is part of NGC’s commitment to authentic entertainment that challenges perceptions and expands understanding of stories you think you know with smart and imaginative storytelling. Not a new theme for the network, NGC has a rich history of producing thought-provoking programming on religious topics, such as the highly regarded special Gospel of Judas.
The factual drama will be true to the incredibly popular narrative storytelling devices used by O’Reilly in his previous two books, telling the story of Jesus of Nazareth as a beloved and controversial young revolutionary brutally killed by Roman soldiers and recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable and the changes that his life brought upon the world for the centuries to follow.
“I am thrilled to once again be partnering with National Geographic Channels and Scott Free Productions on my next book,” said author Bill O’Reilly. “Jesus is the most famous person that has ever lived — and is worshipped today by more than 2.2 billion people. This story is not only rich with detail, controversy and drama, but also personal to so many people that I would not trust it to anyone else to bring to life on the screen.”
Production on the television event will begin this fall, combining rare historical insights with dramatic and emotionally engaging storytelling in the signature style of Scott Free Productions. The special will premiere globally on NGC in 171 countries and 38 languages in 2014.
“O’Reilly has proven with ‘Killing Lincoln’ and ‘Killing Kennedy’ that the public is fascinated with the tragic tales of these renowned historical figures, and this is one of the most dramatic stories ever told. We are privileged to once again work with National Geographic Channel to bring Bill’s vision to the screen,” said Ridley Scott.
“With the tremendous success of ‘Killing Lincoln,’ partnering with Bill O’Reilly on his next two blockbuster titles is a real thrill for us, and clearly something our audience craves,” said Owens. “Scott Free Productions continue to be ideal partners as we work to increase our commitment to producing quality, smart, factual dramas and delivering authentic entertainment with substance.”
About “Killing Jesus”
Bill O’Reilly, anchor of the number-one Fox News program “The O’Reilly Factor” and author of the instant number-one best-selling books “Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot,” “Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever” and the young reader’s edition “Lincoln’s Last Days,” will write “Killing Jesus: A History,” a chronicle of the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. The book was announced by Stephen Rubin, president and publisher of Henry Holt and Company. It will be published on Sept. 24, 2013, and will be written with Martin Dugard, the co-author of “Killing Kennedy” and “Killing Lincoln.”
About Bill O’Reilly
Bill O’Reilly is the anchor of “The O’Reilly Factor,” the highest-rated cable news show in the country. He also writes a syndicated newspaper column and is the author of several number-one best-selling books. He is perhaps the most talked-about political commentator in America.
About Scott Free Productions
Scott Free Productions was formed in 1995 and is the film and television production vehicle of acclaimed film directors and brothers Ridley and Tony Scott. Scott Free Television produces the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-nominated, Peabody acclaimed drama “The Good Wife” for CBS, which is currently enjoying its fourth season, and the eight-hour adaptation of “World Without End,” Ken Follett’s international best-seller featuring Cynthia Nixon, Ben Chaplin and Miranda Richardson on Reelz. Scott Free also produced the recent four-hour adaptation of Robin Cook’s “Coma” for A&E, starring Geena Davis, James Woods, Richard Dreyfuss and Ellen Burstyn; the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-nominated miniseries “The Pillars of the Earth” for Starz; the hit CBS show “NUMB3RS,” which ran for six seasons; the Emmy®-nominated miniseries “The Andromeda Strain” starring Benjamin Bratt and Viola Davis, also for A&E; and the Golden Globe® nominated “The Company” for TNT, featuring Michael Keaton and Alfred Molina.
Productions in prep for 2013 include “Klondike,” Discovery Channel’s first ever scripted miniseries, based on Charlotte Gray’s book about six strangers’ fight for survival and wealth in a small frontier boom town, starring Chris Cooper, Tim Roth and Abbie Cornish; and, for Showtime, “The Vatican,” a modern-day political thriller from Oscar® nominated writer Paul Attanasio, starring Kyle Chandler and Matthew Goode with Ridley Scott at the helm of his first-ever television pilot.
In addition to scripted fare, Scott Free has firmly established its nonfiction presence by producing the epic Emmy®-winning documentary “Gettysburg” for the History Channel, the recent critical and ratings hit Killing Lincoln for the National Geographic Channel and the upcoming Killing Kennedy, also for the National Geographic Channel.
Scott Free has offices in Los Angeles and London in conjunction with RSA Films, one of the world’s largest and most successful commercial production houses.
National Geographic Channels
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Cable Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation’s major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 84 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in 440 million homes in 171 countries and 38 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.