Sky wins Easter Week TV contract
The final few days in the life of Jesus Christ and His resurrection will be shown exclusively on Sky this year, it has been announced.
The broadcaster beat off rival bids from Channel 4 and a consortium of the Catholic Church and Amazon Prime, ending over 2000 years of free-to-air coverage of the showcase religious event.
'After our previous unsuccessful forays into religious programming, this really is our second coming', announced Sky's Head of Programmes, Mike McBride.
'We've revamped the traditional Holy Week format, starting a couple of days ago with a reality show called Set Him Free where viewers got to choose whether to release either Jesus or some common robber.
‘Audiences loved Pontius Pilate as host, with regular cutaways to King Herod for his instant reaction on developments', continued McBride.
The traditional quiet period before the Last Supper on Thursday will be replaced with rolling news coverage, and a range of programming tie-ins.
‘The Road to Calvary’ will revisit key moments in Jesus' life, featuring ‘talking head’ insights from Mary Magdalene, Doubting Thomas, and Stephen Mulhern.
‘The Gospel Truth’ will follow four unknown writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as they struggle and complete their first fictional novel, with Richard Osman narrating.
‘Jesus’s death will become a Sky Box Office event, but we’re moving it 9 pm to avoid a clash with the 3pm St Helens v Wigan Rugby League match', explained McBride.
'We're also revamping the rolling away of the tombstone on Easter Sunday. Joseph of Arimathea will now compete with the best of the rest in a series of events to see who will be crowned Jerusalem's Strongest Man'.