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Fox orders last hours of Jesus format

The PassionUS broadcast net Fox has order a local version of The Passion, a Netherlands-originated pop-culture format that reimagines the last hours of Jesus Christ.

The show has proved popular in the Netherlands, winning a 46.2% audience share this year. The format sees well-known singers and celebrities retell Jesus’ story using city locations and a city-centre outside stage.

In the Dutch version a 1,000-strong public procession worked its way through Amsterdam, following a giant neon lit cross. There were 20,000 spectators at the outside stage, where Jesus’ final moments are played out. The Dutch event has taken place since 2011.

The show was created by Dutch indie Eye2Eye Media. Nordic World distributes it and cut the Fox deal.

Nordic said major German and Norwegian deals would also be announced soon.

“We are grateful and very excited that we are bringing this unique television event to audiences around the globe, starting with the US,” said The Passion creator Jacco Doornbos.

He added: “The story of The Passion is one of the most powerful stories of mankind and it is an exciting challenge for us to be given the opportunity to translate this story about love, hate, betrayal, friendship, grief, hope and redemption to the here and now of American pop culture, in a way all viewers can identify with.”

Paulina Eklund, Nordic World’s vice-president of sales, said: “We believe The Passion will have as powerful an impact in the US as it has in the Netherlands.

“It not only delivers a powerful emotional and moral punch, but it also responds to the demand for live experiences that entice audiences to watch content in real-time. ”