ABC's new television series Of Kings and Prophets, which will deal with the biblical story of King David and include quite a bit of sex and violence, is being billed as a "non-dragon version of Games and Thrones."
The drama series, set to begin airing in March, will be based on the biblical books of Samuel 1 and 2, and will follow the leading figures in these books – especially David, who fought Goliath during the reign of King Saul and became king.
During a panel at the Television Critics Association winter press tour which was held Saturday, the creators, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, described it as one of the world’s first soap operas. Indeed, the promo displays David as a "warrior-lover" and the show is expected to delve into the love life of the handsome king.
The creators explained that the scenes of sex and violence were not included merely for ratings, but were actually part of the Biblical story.
"The love story is essential to this pilot story. We’re trying to tell the story that is in Samuel 1 and 2, which has plenty of sex and violence on its own," they explained.
Executive producer Jason Reed said that they’ve actually had to scale back some of the violence as it’s depicted in the biblical text in order to meet ABC's standards.
Of Kings and Prophets was first scheduled to premiere in the fall, but during the summer it was decided to reshoot the pilot episode, and so the show was postponed to March.
Executive producer Chris Brancato explained the schedule change: “There was a great deal of excitement to do an event series, to do something big and special and a little bit out of the box for the network; essentially this pilot was put into the traditional pilot-making mode and what wasn’t fully calculated was the fact that this show is set in 1,000 B.C. and it needs special tender loving care." The costumes and sets, for example, needed additional work.
The producers compared their series to HBO's Game of Thrones, where producers also decided to reshoot the pilot. "They must have also rushed it into production," they explained.
The real question is whether Of Kings and Prophets will be able to compete with the popularity of Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and the other stars of Westeros.
We'll have to wait until March to see.