‘The Passion’: Acclaimed Filmmaker Tyler Perry to Host Live Retelling of Christ’s Final Hours
Something very intriguing will be happening on March 20, 2016.
You might not have heard of the Dutch phenomenon that has taken pop culture by storm, but it is finally coming to American shores. It’s called “The Passion,” (#The Passion, @ThePassionLive, ThePassion.com) and it is a live, televised musical event — not unlike the recent hash of popular live, televised musicals like “Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan.” The American version will take place in New Orleans, and it is a modern day re-telling of the final hours of Christ’s earthly ministry. It’s a “passion play,” in other words, which is a traditional form of recounting Christ’s last hours leading up to His crucifixion and resurrection. Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” was a cinematic version of a passion play, for example. Another example: when J.S. Bach wrote the St. Matthew Passion, it was a musical masterpiece about the final hours of Christ following the same model.
And now we will have a passion play masterpiece for live television produced by Tyler Perry. And if the Dutch phenomenon is any hint, this fascinating event might become an annual American tradition.
Here is the press release with the full details. It sounds like an incredible event. It will be hard to wait until March 2016:
On Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), FOX will present THE PASSION, a two-hour musical event, airing LIVE from New Orleans, that tells the 2000-year-old story of the last hours of Jesus Christ’s life on earth. Hosted and narrated by actor, writer, producer, director and New Orleans native Tyler Perry (“The Haves and The Have Nots,” “Gone Girl”), the special will feature a cast of today’s biggest stars (to be announced) performing a variety of popular music, arranged by executive producer and hit music producer Adam Anders (“Glee,” “Rock of Ages”).
Set in modern day, THE PASSION will follow the dramatic and inspirational story of Jesus of Nazareth, as he presides over the Last Supper, and then is betrayed by Judas, put on trial by Pontius Pilate, convicted, crucified and resurrected. The story will unfold live at some of New Orleans’ most iconic locations, while featuring a procession of hundreds of people carrying a 20-foot, illuminated cross from Champion Square outside the Superdome to the live stage at Woldenburg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.
FOX has teamed with dick clark productions, the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming, Eye2Eye Media and Anders Media Inc. to produce the event.
“THE PASSION is both wonderfully entertaining and genuinely inspirational,” said David Madden, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “We are so thrilled to have the multi-talented Tyler Perry join us for this epic music production. He is the perfect host to lead the cast – and viewers – through the streets of New Orleans in this contemporary re-telling of a timeless story.”
“This Palm Sunday television event is a modern-day production of the most famous story of all time, full of universal themes, which we hope provides a unifying experience, bringing the sacred and secular together,” said Mark Bracco, EVP of Programming and Development for dick clark productions.
“THE PASSION is one of the most exciting and compelling projects that I have ever been involved with,” said Anders. “I cannot wait to bring the greatest-story-ever-told to life through music, in a way that has never been heard before. To be able to create new arrangements of some of the biggest songs of all time to create a live ‘film score’ is a creative dream for me.”
“We are excited that New Orleans has been chosen as the location for THE PASSION,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Year after year, our city continues to prove to be one of the best places for major motion pictures and world class productions. One of the reasons our economy continues to grow is due to our continued focus on creating opportunities for our cultural economy to thrive and this production announcement is another example of our success.”
THE PASSION is a format originally created in the Netherlands by Eye2Eye Media’s Jacco Doornbos. The Dutch version of THE PASSION has been produced annually since 2011 and has aired for the last five consecutive years, becoming a pop culture phenomenon as it built on its audience each year and commanded more than 46% market share in 2015.
Tyler Perry is an established American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, playwright, author and philanthropist. He started his career writing plays, many of which later became the inspiration for his film projects and included the introduction of the iconic character, “Madea.” Perry’s first feature film, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” debuted at No. 1 nationwide in 2005. In the 10 years since, the 16 films directed by Perry have all been met with massive commercial success and grossed nearly $2 billion. He has also stepped on the other side of the camera for other directors, including David Fincher for “Gone Girl” and Rob Cohen for “Alex Cross.” He also helped release the Academy Award-nominated film “Precious,” on which he served as executive producer. He has made an indelible mark in the television space, as well. In 2007, he debuted the series “House of Payne,” which broke cable rating records, and later launched the equally successful “Meet the Browns” on the same network. In late 2012, Perry partnered with Oprah Winfrey to bring scripted programming to her cable network, creating “For Better or Worse,” “Love Thy Neighbor,” “If Loving You is Wrong” and “The Haves and The Have Nots.” Perry will be seen next on the big screen in the sequel to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” and in “Brain on Fire,” opposite Chloe Grace Moretz.
THE PASSION is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro (CEO, dick clark productions), Mike Mahan (President, dick clark productions), Mark Bracco (Executive Vice President, Programing and Development, dick clark productions), Jacco Doornbos (CEO and Creative Director of Eye2Eye Media), Adam Anders (CEO, Anders Media Inc.) and David Grifhorst (“The Passion: Netherlands”) will serve as executive producers. Robert Deaton (“CMA Awards”) also will serve as executive producer and showrunner.
Dick clark productions will distribute the U.S. version of The Passion internationally.
Like THE PASSION on Facebook at Facebook.com/FOXTV
. Follow the event on Twitter @FOXTV
, and join the discussion using #ThePassionLive. See photos and videos on Instagram @FOXTV/
About dick clark productions
dick clark productions (dcp) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” AMERICAN COUNTRY COUNTDOWN AWARDS, “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Hollywood Film Awards” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, from 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group and dcp; and WORLD’S FUNNIEST, from Jukin Media and dcp. dcp also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with more than 55 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com
About Eye2Eye Media
Jacco Doornbos is CEO and Creative Director of Eye2Eye Media, a content-driven international television & cross media company based in The Netherlands. Eye2Eye Media has created and produced award-winning scripted and live television events and series formats since the company’s inception in 1998. Their show “The Passion” is Holland’s highest rated live musical television event annually since 2011 and was awarded the prestigious Dutch TV Statue for best entertainment program in 2014. As creator of “The Passion,” Jacco earned the esteemed J.B.Th
Spaan Prize, an award given to one media professional for his or her innovative work every other year. Some of Eye2Eye Media’s other live television event successes include the annual National Christmas Celebration in Amsterdam, Miss Ability and the National Bible Quiz. Their most successful scripted series include In Search of God, Expedition Unlimited, Daddy’s First Steps, McDonald’s Kitchen. Eye2Eye Media formats, documentaries and series have been sold to many territories including the U.S, U.K, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Poland and Australia.
About Anders Media Inc.
Anders Media Inc. was founded in 2012 by Adam Anders and Nikki Anders with the sole purpose of developing and producing music-driven content for TV and Film. With more Billboard Hot 100 singles chart entries than any producer in history (217), Adam Anders has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and created the music for some of the most successful major motion pictures and television shows in entertainment today. His songs have broken music chart records and his work has earned him four Grammy Award nominations, two People’s Choice Awards and an ARIA Award. Anders’ music has been heard in movies and television shows, including “Glee,” “High School Musical 3,” “The Young Victoria,” “Cheetah Girls 3,” “Evan Almighty,” “The Wedding Planner,” “Rugrats In Paris,” “Camp Rock,” “Camp Rock 2,” “Hannah Montana” and “Starstruck,” amongst many others. He also holds the distinction of having the most singles charting on the Billboard Hot 100 chart of any producer in history. He served as executive music producer for FOX’s hit series “Glee,” as well as the feature film and soundtrack for “Rock Of Ages,” a project whose original score is by Anders and Peer Astrom, with all songs produced by Anders and Peer Astrom. Anders has established an unparalleled track record of writing and producing some of the world’s most popular songs for both established and developing artists such as Cee-Lo Green, Tori Kelly, Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Backstreet Boys, Clay Aiken, Sheryl Crow, Steven Curtis Chapman, CeCe Winans, Nick Lachey and Ashley Tisdale, among others. Recently, Anders Media Inc. signed an exclusive worldwide agreement with Capitol Music Group to establish their own Deep Well Records as an associated label of Virgin Records based out of the iconic Capitol Tower in Hollywood.