The Bible-based streaming series The Chosen passed 100 million views in recent days, marking another impressive milestone for a project that has drawn high marks from everyday viewers but also from critics.
The series, billed as the first-ever multi-season television series about Jesus, passed the 100 million mark around Easter weekend, which also coincided with the release of Season 2.
As of Monday, the series had been streamed more than 115 million times, according to data on The Chosen app. The app itself soared into the Apple App Store Top 5 for free entertainment apps during the first week of April. At one point, it was No. 4, leading Disney and Hulu.
The Chosen is a product of Angel Studios, which was formed by the creators of VidAngel. Dallas Jenkins directed it. It has a perfect critics score of 100 at Rotten Tomatoes and a near-perfect audience score of 99 at the same website (based on 7,410 votes).
Neal Harmon, the CEO of Angel Studios, credits the series’ popularity to a “perfect combination of raising the bar and amplifying” the “light” of Christ.
“The level of production quality and the writing can be embraced and enjoyed by even people who aren't believers,” Harmon told Christian Headlines. “And I've seen that happen. I see it happen all the time. And I also see people of other faiths – Hindus, Muslims and others – love The Chosen. [They are] really great stories, regardless of your belief. This can stand up to any other major Hollywood TV series.”
The combination of “great storytelling,” the amplifying of the light of Christ, and the project’s “capturing the essence of Scripture” is “universally uniting people all across the world,” Harmon added.
The crowdfunded series is available for streaming at TheChosen.tv, on the series’ app, or on VidAngel.
Unlike most popular television series, it can be viewed for free – and without ads.
The series is free, Harmon said, because viewers donate money to keep the project going.
“They're free to view because of … the audience,” Harmon said. “And when people watch this, and their hearts are moved – those who are able to afford it, they pay it forward. And we use that money to market the show to a broader audience, and to fund the next season and to distribute the show.
“It’s kind of impossible math. Dallas likes to call it ‘God's impossible math.’ It’s pretty special,” Harmon said. “The content is just so good that people want to support it and get behind it.”
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Photo courtesy: ©Angel Studios/The Chosen
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.