It comes less than a month before the popular series about Jesus' earthly ministry releases its fourth season in movie theaters.
The Chosen evidently thinks its target demographic includes a sizable chunk of American college football fans, because it debuted a fresh trailer last night on the cable sports network ESPN during this year's national championship game between the University of Washington and the University of Michigan.
With advertising rates for the contest reportedly running at least $1 million for a 30-second spot, the show forked over serious money for its one minute and 15 second slot. There were no doubt enough eyeballs watching to justify such a hefty sum, because, though we do not yet have the ratings data, last year's title game delivered more than 22 million viewers.
This is the third and shortest trailer filmmakers behind The Chosen have put out thus far, but it gives a clear sense of the darkening story arc that follows Christ's later ministry, as he comes into increasing conflict with both Jewish religious leaders and their Roman overlords. At one point, the Jesus character - played by native New Yorker Jonathan Roumie - tells his followers that he has come not to bring "peace on earth," but rather "a sword, division," which come from Matthew 10:34 and Luke 12:51.
Season 4 is the mid-point of what show creator/director Dallas Jenkins has said will be seven seasons all told for the streaming series. This latest trailer also features other well-known moments from Scripture, including Jesus at Lazarus' tomb, His triumphal entry into Jerusalem at Passover, and Salome's dance in front of King Herod. You can watch it yourself below.
The entire season will release in theaters in three installments, beginning with episodes one through three, which debut together on February 1st and will be followed later in the month by the remaining five episodes. Tickets to a theater in your area are available for purchase via this link to the website of distributor Fathom Events.