For two weeks in April, television audiences will be treated to an unprecedented collection of inspirational movies and mini-series when UP once again presents The Greatest Stories of The Bible in honor of the Easter season.
Starting on Monday, April 7 and continuing through Easter, Sunday, April 20, UP will air 21 classic stories from the New and Old Testaments (11 never-before-seen on UP), plus one all-new UP Original Movie during prime time, totaling more than 123 hours of programming.
Highlights of the two-week programming block include Mary, Mother of Jesus, starring Christian Bale, Pernilla August, Melinda Kinnaman and Geraldine Chaplin; Judas, starring Johnathon Schaech, Jonathan Scarfe, Tim Matheson and Bob Gunton; Jesus, starring Jeremy Sisto, Debra Messing and Gary Oldman; and The Greatest Story Ever Told, starring Max Von Sydow, Charlton Heston and John Wayne.
The centerpiece of UP’s two-week Easter celebration will be the commercial television premiere of The Passion of the Christ, the highest grossing independent film of all time. Mel Gibson’s (Braveheart, Apocalypto) blockbuster retelling of Jesus’ final hours will be telecast with limited commercial interruption on Palm Sunday, April 13, 9 PM ET/6 PM PT.
Another highlight is the all-new UP Original Movie, Apple Mortgage Cake, starring four-time NAACP Image Award-winner Kimberly Elise (Diary of a Mad Black Woman, “Close to Home”). The film is based on the incredible true story of Angela Logan (Elise), a single mom who, with just ten days to come up with $4,000 to save her home, decides to market the delicious dessert she learned to bake at her grandmother’s side. Apple Mortgage Cake premieres Easter Sunday, April 20, 7 PM ET/4 PM PT exclusively on UP.
The complete list UP’s The Greatest Stories of The Bible includes:
Peter and Paul – Peter and Paul assume leadership of the Church as they struggle against violent opposition to the teachings of Christ and their own personal conflicts. (1981) Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Robert Foxworth, Eddie Albert, Raymond Burr, Jose Ferrer. Monday, April 7, 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT.
Solomon – King Solomon rules Egypt with wisdom and respect, until his unrequited love for the Queen of Sheba plunges him into despair and his realm begins to collapse. (1997) Stars: Ben Cross, Anouk Aimée, Vivica A. Fox, Max von Sydow. Tuesday, April 8, 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
*The Story of David – A biography of the second king of Israel follows David from his days as a humble shepherd to his death as king, recounting his accomplishments, his struggles, and his sins. (1976) Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Anthony Quayle, Jane Seymour. Wednesday, April 9, 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
*Barabbas – Oscar® winner Anthony Quinn plays Barabbas, the criminal set free so that Christ could be crucified, who is haunted by the image of Jesus for the rest of his life. (1961) Also starring Silvana Mangano and Arthur Kennedy. Thursday, April 10, 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
Jeremiah – A prophet abandons his loved ones in order to relay God’s message of the destruction of the Holy City by the Babylonians. (1998) Stars Patrick Dempsey, Oliver Reed, Leonor Varela. Thursday, April 10, 11 PM ET/ 8 PM PT.
The Ten Commandments – The story of Moses, who, against impossible odds, leads the Jews out of Egyptian slavery into perilous freedom. (2006) Stars: Dougray Scott, Paul Rhys, Omar Sharif, Naveen Andrews. Friday, April 11, 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
*The Story of Ruth – In a story inspired by the scriptural tale, the Moabitess priestess Ruth is drawn both to a Judean man and to his talk of a forgiving God. After tragedy strikes, she begins a new life in Bethlehem. (1960) Stars: Stuart Whitman, Tom Tryon, Peggy Wood. Friday, April 11, 12 a.m. ET/9 PM PT.
The Book Of Ruth: Journey of Faith – An adaptation of the Bible’s “Book of Ruth” deals with powerful themes of tolerance and acceptance gained through love and understanding. (2009) Stars: Lana Wood, Dan Haggerty and Sherry Morris. Saturday, April 12, 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT.
Esther – When the King of Persia falls in love with Esther, unaware of her Jewish heritage, she asks him to show her people mercy and becomes a symbol of hope and virtue in life’s darkest moments. (1999) Stars: Louise Lombard, F. Murray Abraham, Jürgen Prochnow, Thomas Kretschmann. Saturday, April 12, 10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT.
*The Book of Esther – Chosen as queen consort to King Xerxes of Persia, the Jewish maiden Esther discovers a plot to exterminate her people and must outwit her enemies. (2013) Stars: Jen Lilley, Linda Bisesti. Saturday, April 12, 7 PM ET/4 PM PT.
*Esther and the King – Joan Collins stars as Esther in the Biblical story of the queen who saved a nation. (1960) Also starring: Richard Egan, Sergio Fantoni. Saturday, April 12, 1 a.m. ET/10 PM PT.
The Greatest Story Ever Told – George Stevens’ epic retelling of the life of Jesus Christ was nominated for five Academy® Awards and features a star-studded cast. (1965) Stars: Max Von Sydow, Dorothy McGuire, Robert Loggia, Charlton Heston, Robert Blake, Roddy McDowall, Sidney Poitier, Pat Boone, Shelley Winters, John Wayne, Telly Savalas, Angela Lansbury, Martin Landau, Jose Ferrer. Palm Sunday, April 13, 4:30 PM ET/1:30 PM PT.
*The Passion of the Christ (Commercial Television Premiere with Limited Commercial Interruptions) – From Academy® Award-winning director Mel Gibson, this uncompromising film depicts Jesus Christ’s profound courage and sacrifice during the last 12 hours of his life on Earth. (2004) Stars: Jim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern and Monica Bellucci. Palm Sunday, April 13, 9 PM ET/6 PM PT.
Mary, Mother of Jesus – A compelling portrayal of a mother’s undying love for her son, the film celebrates the humanity of Mary as she accepts her son’s destiny and dedicates her life to his message of love and salvation. (1999) The film stars Christian Bale, Pernilla August, Melinda Kinnaman and Geraldine Chaplin. Thursday, April 17, 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
The Story of Jacob and Joseph – Brothers Esau and Jacob turn against one another, tearing their family apart for 20 years, only to see their conflict echoed in the next generation as Jacob’s sons sell their brother Joseph into slavery in Egypt out of jealousy. (1974) Stars: Keith Michell, Tony Lo Bianco and Colleen Dewhurst. Good Friday, April 18, 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT.
*Judas – A new perspective on the intertwined lives of Judas Iscariot and Jesus of Nazareth that depicts Judas sympathetically, as he tries to free the Jewish people from Roman rule. (2004) Stars: Johnathon Schaech, Jonathan Scarfe, Tim Matheson and Bob Gunton. Monday, April 14, 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
*King of Kings – An epic film detailing the life of Jesus Christ from birth to crucifixion and resurrection. (1961) Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Siobhán McKenna and Rip Torn. Tuesday, April 15, 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
Jesus – The extraordinary life of Jesus is captured in this riveting film as he grows from a simple carpenter into a man whose spiritual teachings and loving ways continue to inspire the world. (1999) Stars: Jeremy Sisto, Debra Messing, Gary Oldman, Jacqueline Bisset, G.W. Bailey. Good Friday, April 18, 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
*The Robe – A tribune wins Jesus’ homespun robe after the crucifixion, but becomes tormented by nightmares. Hoping to find a way to live with what he has done, he returns to Palestine to try and learn what he can of the man he helped kill. (1953) Stars: Richard Burton, Jean Simmons and Victor Mature. Saturday, April 19, 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
*Demetrius and the Gladiators – The sequel to the masterful The Robe finds Christ’s robe conveyed to Rome for safekeeping, where the scheming emperor Caligula covets its power, not realizing the peril to those who do not believe in the true power of God. (1954) Stars: Victor Mature, Susan Hayward, Anne Bancroft and Ernest Borgnine. Saturday, April 19, 11 PM ET/8 PM PT.
*Apostle Peter and the Last Supper – In the hours before his death, Simon Peter of Galilee—apostle, disciple and personal friend of Jesus—recounts his life as a simple fisherman who became one of the boldest figures in all of Christianity. (2012) Stars: Robert Loggia, Bruce Marchiano and Laurence Fuller. Sunday, April 20, 8 a.m. ET/8 5.m. PT.
*FIRST TIME ON UP