SERIES HAS GROWN FROM CROWDSOURCING PROJECT INTO WORLDWIDE PHENOMENON WITH OVER 110 MILLION VIEWERS
Santa Monica, Calif. (May 23, 2023)–Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) has acquired worldwide distribution rights to all seasons of the acclaimed event series The Chosen, from creator, director and producer Dallas Jenkins, it was announced today by Jenkins and the studio. The Chosen is the first multi-season series of its kind, a ground-breaking historical drama about the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of his followers. It has grown from a crowdsourcing project into a massive global phenomenon with over 110 million viewers in 175 countries around the world with plans to make it available in 600 languages.
Three seasons of The Chosen have been produced, and seasons 1 and 2 are available on Peacock/Amazon Prime and Season 1 is on Netflix. The series has reached audiences abroad as well, notably in France on Canal+, the Netherlands on NPO, Spain on MovieStar and Poland on TVP. A fourth season, from creator and director Dallas Jenkins and starring Jonathan Roumie, is currently in production.
The series continues to grow in popularity, generating 6.5 million followers across social media, comparable to many of the biggest shows on television, and $35 million at the box office in special event theatrical releases. The Chosen is one of the five most searched shows on Roku, and it has generated apparel, best-selling books, DVD’s and an upcoming series of graphic novels. Star Jonathan Roumie has been invited to the Vatican twice to speak with Pope Francis about his role as Jesus.
Dallas Jenkins has spent over two decades in the film industry including theatrical releases, such as Lionsgate’s Midnight Clear, but it was The Shepherd, his short film shot on a farm in Illinois, that launched The Chosen. Showing the birth of Jesus through the eyes of a shepherd with a disability struck an emotional chord with viewers, and the video went viral globally with tens of millions of views.
“Lionsgate is perfect for us,” said Jenkins. “They’re strong and experienced in the areas we’re not, but they also understand what’s unique about us and will protect that. We’ll continue to do what we do best unabated, and they’ll expand our efforts with their tremendous distribution team.”
“The more I learned about The Chosen, the more I wanted to ensure that it is on the best platforms across the globe. It’s no surprise that an artfully crafted story about such an important historical figure, unlike anything done before, would be in great demand,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television Distribution Jim Packer. “The multi-season approach has allowed The Chosen to consistently build its audience and generate a unique level of engagement. We’re excited by the opportunity to elevate this incredible property to the next level of worldwide recognition and popularity.”
The Come and See Foundation, will retain and manage licensing rights for all activities within the non-profit sector. Their work to translate the series into hundreds of languages is making it possible for The Chosen to be globally accessible.
Jenkins and Roumie are represented by UTA. The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Christopher Davis and Daniel Taylor.
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) encompasses world-class motion picture and television studio operations aligned with the STARZ premium global subscription platform to bring a unique and varied portfolio of entertainment to consumers around the world. The Company’s film, television, subscription and location-based entertainment businesses are backed by an 18,000-title library and a valuable collection of iconic film and television franchises. A digital age company driven by its entrepreneurial culture and commitment to innovation, the Lionsgate brand is synonymous with bold, original, relatable entertainment for audiences worldwide.
ABOUT THE CHOSEN
The Chosen is a groundbreaking historical drama based on the life of Jesus, seen through the eyes of those who knew him. Set against the backdrop of Jewish oppression in first-century Israel, the seven-season show shares an authentic and intimate look at Jesus’ revolutionary life and teachings.
The global phenomenon has garnered over 520 million episode views worldwide, and over 110 million people have watched at least one episode. It’s available on major streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Peacock while all seasons remain free in The Chosen mobile and TV apps. Viewer support through tax-deductible donations fund production and have helped make The Chosen the largest fan-supported entertainment projects of all time.