NASHVILLE (BP) – The popular video series “The Chosen,” which depicts the life of Jesus and His followers, will release the final episode of its second season Sunday (July 11). The show has become a sensation, with episodes having been viewed more than 150 million times and translated into more than 50 different languages.
“This season, Jesus’ growing fame has brought resistance from the Romans and religious leaders, and the disciples are struggling with how to deal with it,” said series creator and director Dallas Jenkins in a press release. “This sets the stage for Jesus to put together the most famous sermon in history. Despite the growing danger, he’s determined to deliver one of the most important sermons of His life.”
Jenkins is the son of Jerry Jenkins, co-author of the “Left Behind” Christian book series. He has directed several features and short films for a variety of media companies such as Universal, Lionsgate, Pureflix, Hallmark Channel and Amazon.
Derral Eves, the series’ executive producer, said the idea for the project came from a short film about the Nativity story that Jenkins created that told the story through the perspective of a shepherd.
Eves told Baptist Press in an interview he appreciates the evangelical perspective Jenkins brings to the The Chosen and wanted to create a quality series to back up that vision, even when production was not always easy.
“If the content is not good, then people are less likely to share, and the pressure is on me and the production team to deliver on the promise of the show,” Eves said. “The production has not been easy, but God always provided little miracles and a way for us to get to the next day and the next stage.
“From the beginning it was so hard to get people to watch, but once people watched a couple episodes things changed. People experience the content, become fans of the content and then want to get other people to see it because it made an impact on their lives.”
Eves said the production team sought to maintain biblical accuracy while showing the humanity of Jesus and the authentic life and relationships He had.
“If it’s recorded in the Bible we stick to the Bible, and that is that,” Eves said. “Then for other aspects we look at situational plausibility to provide context on why certain moments in the Bible are so important and give plausible backstory to offer more emotion and connection to that moment.”
Eves said the support for the show has been “humbling” and even “sacred” to the entire production team. The team has a goal of spreading the message of the “authentic Jesus,” to more than a billion people.
A large part of that support has been financial. The show is completely crowdfunded, meaning all of the money used to produce it comes from donations from fans and supporters. It is believed to be the first multiple-season television show about the life of Jesus.
It is also the largest crowdfunded entertainment and film project of all time, having raised more than $10 million from more than 19,000 people for the first season and $12 million from more than 125,000 people for the second season.
After each episode, viewers are asked to “pay if forward” so that the show can remain free. Funding is currently underway for a prospective third season.
The finale will be livestreamed at 8 p.m. July 11 on Facebook as well as the show’s official YouTube channel and The Chosen App, available for both Apple and Android. After its premiere, the finale, as well as all other episodes of the second season, can be viewed through the app.
The first season is currently available to stream for free on the app as well as a variety of media outlets such as Pureflix, Peacock, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play, with physical DVDs available at Walmart stores.
The pilot episode begins with Jesus’ birth account, and the show moves through the calling of the disciples and the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Later, viewers see the growing influence of Jesus and His conflicts with Roman and Jewish authorities.
Prior to The Chosen, Jenkins’ most recent project was “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone,” a Christian comedy about a man who pretends to be a Christian while doing community service in a megachurch. It stars Brett Dalton (Marvel’s “Agents of Shield), as well as former WWE star Shawn Michaels, and was released in 2017.