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A.D. The Bible Continues had emerged as NBC’s best shot at a solid drama debut this season. The Mark Burnett- and Roma Downey-produced follow-up to their hit miniseries The Bible did log NBC’s highest drama debut this season, opening with a 2.3 rating in 18-49 and 9.5 million total viewers from 9-10 PM last night. It was the top-rated show on the broadcast networks last night but fell short of the 2013 premiere of The Bible on the lower-profile History cable network, which drew a 3.3 demo rating and 13.1 million viewers.

Still, A.D. held its ground with virtually no lead-in (it followed a two-hour Dateline,which managed a 0.9 in 18-49) on a night that traditionally has been challenging for NBC post-football.

Against original programming, it was a 60-year-old movie classic that won the night in the young demo. The four-hour telecast of The Ten Commandments averaged a 1.4 for ABC, lifting it to the top spot in 18-49.

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