After The Bible, History Channel to air show on Jesus the exorcist

The Bible miniseries was a huge ratings hit for The History Channel(Photo: The History Channel)

The History Channel will be depicting Jesus as an exorcist in a planned drama series entitled "The Lost Years".

Focusing on the time between Jesus's pilgrimage to Jerusalem when he was 13, and his ministry which began when he was approximately 30, the episodes will be speculating on an area of his life not covered in detail by the Gospels.

The announcement of the planned series comes after the unexpected success of "The Bible", an epic telling of several key moments of scripture over five episodes each lasting two hours.

The series drew 11.7 million viewers in the US over the course of its three and a half week run, with its finale rivalling the critically acclaimed "Walking Dead" series on the AMC network.

The series was nominated for an Emmy, but lost out to HBOs "Behind the Candelabra" biographical series covering the last 10 years of Liberace's life.

The series appears to be going in a horror direction, with Eli Roth and Eric Newman announced as producers, and Scott Kosar being named to write. It is based on an original idea by Kosar who previously has worked on the 2004 psychological thriller "The Machinist", the 2003 remake of the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", the 2005 remake of "The Amityville Horror", and the 2010 remake of George A Romero's ultraviolent horror "The Crazies".

Mr Newman's previous credits also include a George A Romero remake, in the form of the 2004 remake of "Dawn of the Dead", as well as the 2006 film adaptation of P D James's novel "Children of Men", and the 2011 remake of John Carpenter's classic "The Thing". Mr Roth is most famous for the oft labelled 'torture-porn' franchise "Hostel". He and Mr Newman have worked on representations of demonic possession before, collaborating to create the franchise "The Last Exorcism".

Contrary to what has been reported in the Daily Mail, there are Biblical grounds for the idea of Jesus as an exorcist – if perhaps a little different from today's popular culture depictions of exorcism.

Accounts of Jesus driving out demons appear in the Gospels, with perhaps the most famous incident to be found in the book of Matthew chapter 8, where Jesus meets a man possessed by two demons in the region of Gadarenes. To save him, Jesus forces the demons out and drives them into a herd of pigs nearby, who then promptly run into a nearby lake and are drowned.

The History Channel has also announced another miniseries to be set in the ancient world. Academy Award winner Halle Berry is reported to be producing a miniseries covering the life and times of Hannibal Barca, the general from ancient Carthage who famously crossed the Alps with war elephants.

At the present time, it is unclear how long the series will be, or when it will premiere.

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