Following the ratings success of “Killing Lincoln” on Nat Geo, the News Corp.-owned cable channel quickly acquired the rights to “Killing Kennedy,” the second book in the series from Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly recently announced that the next book will be “Killing Jesus,” about the life–and death–of Christianity’s most important figure.
Not surprisingly, a bidding war broke out for the TV rights, and according to the New York Post‘s Michael Shain, and confirmed by one of my sources familiar with the plans, CNN nearly won the rights to the TV movie.
Jeff Zucker, the new head of the news channel, bid as much as $2.5 million for rights to the book. The Jesus movie will be produced — as the other O’Reilly movies are — by Ridley Scott, the director of “Blade Runner.” Zucker learned of the Jesus movie through Scott, who is also making a series called “Crimes of the Century” for CNN, according to the sources.