The popular independent Christian series The Chosen outperformed many of its competitors when it premiered on broadcast television last weekend.
- According to data from TV Line, the Sunday, July 16, premiere of The Chosen on CW was the most-watched show on its channel that night.
- The first episode drew an average of 520,000 viewers compared to Riverdale (200,000), Nancy Drew (400,000), Gotham Knights (235,000), and Superman And Lois (174,000), according to SpoilerTV.com.
- TV Insider argues that this viewership makes the show’s audience comparable to large shows like The Walking Dead and Yellowstone, The Christian Post notes.
- The show is scheduled to run new episodes weekly on CW through Christmas Eve.
Why It’s News
The Chosen has made a massive dent in the film industry since the first season premiered on April 21, 2019. Initially released online through Angel Studios and a pay-it-forward scheme, it has become one of the largest independently funded television shows in history, promising to deliver a seven-season story arc about the life of Jesus of Nazareth and his 12 apostles.
The Chosen was created by filmmaker Dallas Jenkins, son of Left Behind author Jerry B. Jenkins and the creator of the 2017 independent movie The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. He took his vision of telling the largest story about the life of Christ to independent financiers and succeeded at bringing it to life.
It has since become a phenomenon in the Christian entertainment world and mainstream Hollywood, with episodes of the show being screened in movie theaters and grossing $35 million in special broadcasts. It has accrued 110 million viewers on the Angel Studios app and has been translated into 600 languages.
The show’s success has seen it repeatedly licensed by major streaming distributors, including Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, Netflix, Roku, and BYUtv. According to Deadline, the CW network acquired the broadcasting rights to the show’s first three seasons in June. Lionsgate purchased global sub-licensing rights to the show in May.
“We want this show out there. Everywhere, as easy to find as possible. Like the song says, ‘Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m going to let it shine.’ Please be sure you’re letting others know what’s inside this issue—that The Chosen is on The CW every Sunday night,” Jenkins said on Instagram.
“The Chosen is based on the biggest IP of all time and is truly a one-of-a-kind series that tells this historically significant story in a captivating, dramatic, and premium way. This show has already connected deeply with viewers around the world, and The CW will expand its audience even further,” says CW President Brad Schwartz.