A popular television series about Jesus is set to pass Baywatch in a significant international distribution category.
The Chosen, which follows the story of Jesus and His disciples, will pass Baywatch this year as having the most “dubbings” – that is, voiceovers, according to Brad Pelo, president of The Chosen. Baywatch, which aired from 1989 to 2001, currently holds the record among television series with 34 dubs. It starred David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson and Yasmine Bleeth.
“We’re gonna beat Baywatch,” Pelo said, smiling.
Dubbing, he explained, involves a different process than subtitling/closed captioning, although both require that the series be translated from English to the local language.
“In the dubbing process, they do voice overs, so they cast actors in the local language to play the roles of Jesus and Simon, etc.,” Pelo told Christian Headlines and other media members. “And then they voice over top of the actor's voice. That's dubbing.”
The progress in dubbing and subtitling, Pelo said, is due to the partnership between The Chosen and The Come and See Foundation, a non-profit that has the goal of translating the series into other languages.
“People's donations are used for translating the show and dubbing,” Pelo said. “... And this year, their goal is to have 50 languages dubbed which will be more languages dubbed than any show in the history of the world.”
The goal is to have The Chosen subtitled in 600 languages, he said.
Meanwhile, Pelo said the new partnership between The Chosen and Lionsgate will not change the content of the series.
“We get to retain control of the creation of the show. ... The same people that have written the show in the past will write it in the future. Dallas [Jenkins] will continue to direct it,” Pelo said. “The only role that Lionsgate plays is once we make the show, they want to get it out to the world, just like we do.”
The Chosen is in production for its fourth season.
Photo courtesy: ©Angel Studios, used with permission.
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.