Of Kings and Prophets

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Of Kings and Prophets
Of Kings And Prophets ABC.jpg
GenreBiblical Drama
Based onBible, Books of Samuel
Developed by
  • Adam Cooper
  • Bill Collage
Composer(s)Trevor Morris
Mark Kilian
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes9 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Tina Grewal
  • Vlokkie Gordon
  • Paul Eckstein
Production location(s)Cape Town, South Africa
  • George Steel
  • Sidney Sidell
  • Michael Snyman
  • Trevor Michael Brown
Editor(s)Adam Bluming
Tim Mirkovich
Running time42 minutes
Production company(s)
  • ABC Studios
  • BoomGen Studios
  • Philotimo Factory
  • Jason T. Reed Productions
DistributorDisney-ABC Domestic Television
Original networkABC
Picture format720p (16:9 HDTV)
Original releaseMarch 8 (2016-03-08) –
March 15, 2016 (2016-03-15)
External links

Of Kings and Prophets is an American television drama based on the Biblical Books of Samuel that premiered on ABC.[1] The series follows an ensemble of characters including Saul and David, the successive Kings of Israel, their families, and their political rivals. Of Kings and Prophets is set in the Kingdom of Israel, but filmed in Cape Town, South Africa.[2]

The series was originally scheduled to premiere in late 2015. However, due to creative changes, it was moved to mid-season in the 2015–16 television season,[3][4] and premiered on March 8, 2016. Due to low ratings, ABC canceled the series after airing two episodes.[5] All nine episodes aired in New Zealand in March–May 2016.[citation needed] As of February 2018, all nine episodes were available for rent or purchase on Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube.

Cast and characters[edit]




Writers Adam Cooper and Bill Collage said at the Television Critics Association press tour that they hope to push the envelope "as far as we can" in regards to the amount of sex and violence featured on the series.[9] Showrunner Chris Brancato later clarified "This story is an Old Testament [one that’s] violent [and] sex-drenched. It’s one of the world’s first soap operas. ... You will watch a show that is tasteful but that also tells the story you can read if you want to pick up the Bible."[9] Then-ABC president Paul Lee (who was removed from the network before the show premiered) described the pilot episode simply as "muscular".[10]

Cooper suggested that if need be, some of the more graphic scenes on the series may be edited for public broadcast, and release the originally intended scenes for online viewing.[11] This did indeed occur with the first episode, which was released online with additional sexual content and nudity that was not seen in the ABC broadcast.


Critical response[edit]

The show has received below average reviews from critics, with some critics negatively comparing it to Game of Thrones.[12][13] On Metacritic, the first season of Of Kings and Prophets received a score of 47/100 based on 16 media reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[14] On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 29% approval rating based on 17 media reviews with its critical consensus: "Of Kings and Prophets tries to add a Game of Thrones-inspired spin to the Old Testament, but ends up an aimless muddle."[12] In the show's favor Variety wrote "Its courtly sets, tents, and marketplaces often have a pleasingly realistic level of detail, and some glimpses of the outdoor scenery of South Africa (which stands in for ancient Israel) are breathtaking."[15] IGN noted, "It does have a few things going for it, including high production values and intriguing political and religious themes. Winstone (as Saul) brings a very human quality to the character that is usually left out of other depictions."[16]

Parental group reaction[edit]

The Parents Television Council criticized the series for scenes of sex and violence and called for it to be removed from the network's schedule.[17][18] The PTC has compared the show's content to a "broadcast" version of Game of Thrones.[13]


The first episode opened up to 3.32 million viewers. The second episode had lower ratings, having live viewing of 2.42 million viewers, assuring the show's cancellation. Beyond the Tank, which had aired several episodes in the fall and early winter in the same timeslot, returned for the remainder of the season.


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
1"Offerings of Blood"Michael OfferAdam Cooper & Bill CollageMarch 8, 2016 (2016-03-08)3.33[19]
In order to defend his kingdom, King Saul of the Israelites arranges a strategic marriage for his daughter Merav to the Eitan of Judah's son Mattiyahu in hopes it will unify the 12 Israelite tribes against their enemies, the Philistines. In the midst of the wedding preparations, Prophet Samuel brings the king a message from God—to destroy the Amalekites. Meanwhile, after his flock of sheep was killed by a lion, the shepherd David travels to the king's palace in Gibeah to settle his family's debt. But when he can't afford his taxes, he must pay the penalty with a flogging. To settle the matter, he makes a deal with Ahinoam, the queen to either kill the beast or perish.
2"Let the Wicked Be Ashamed"Duane ClarkTheresa RebeckMarch 15, 2016 (2016-03-15)2.42[20]
3"Lest I Sleep the Sleep of Death"Michael RobisonAdam CooperMarch 23, 2016 (2016-03-23) (New Zealand)N/A
4"Beasts of the Reeds"David BoydDan Dworkin & Jay BeattieMarch 30, 2016 (2016-03-30) (N.Z.)N/A
5"Little Lower than the Angels"Jean de SegonzacJanet LinApril 6, 2016 (2016-04-06) (N.Z.)N/A
6"Honor in the Dust"Romeo TironeTheresa RebeckApril 13, 2016 (2016-04-13) (N.Z.)N/A
7"Train My Hands for War"Duane ClarkZach CaligApril 20, 2016 (2016-04-20) (N.Z.)N/A
8"Broken Teeth of the Ungodly"Bobby RothDan Dworkin & Jay BeattieApril 27, 2016 (2016-04-27) (N.Z.)N/A
9"No King is Saved"Ericson CorePaul Eckstein & Angela LaMannaMay 4, 2016 (2016-05-04) (N.Z.)N/A


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 12, 2015). "ABC Fall Schedule 2015 — First Look". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  2. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 4, 2015). "TV Pilot Locations 2015: New York Slips, LA Rebounds & More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 7, 2015). "ABC Orders Six Drama Pilots To Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 2, 2015). "'Of Kings and Prophets' Pulled From ABC Fall Schedule, 'Quantico' Goes To Sunday". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  5. ^ Keveney, Bill (March 18, 2016). "ABC cancels 'Of Kings and Prophets' after two episodes". USA Today. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  6. ^ "About Of Kings and Prophets". abc.go.com. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  7. ^ Denise Petski. "The Walking Dead Adds Jay Huguley - Deadline". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  8. ^ "This SA actress just landed a MAJOR international TV role". News24. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  9. ^ a b Sandberg, Bryn Elise (January 8, 2016). "'Of Kings and Prophets' Boss Talks Sexually Explicit Bible Series: "We're Going to Go as Far as We Can"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  10. ^ Hughes, WIlliam (January 9, 2016). "ABC's Of Kings And Prophets might shove all its sex and violence online". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (January 9, 2016). "ABC Drama 'Of Kings and Prophets' May Offer Racier Edits of Episodes Online". Variety. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Of Kings and Prophets at Rotten Tomatoes
  13. ^ a b Henson, Melissa (March 1, 2016). "ABC's "Of Kings and Prophets", Broadcast TV's Version of HBO's Explicit "Game Of Thrones"". Parents Television Council. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  14. ^ Of Kings and Prophets at Metacritic
  15. ^ Ryan, Maureen (2016-03-06). "TV Review: 'Of Kings and Prophets'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  16. ^ Nicholson, Max (2016-03-08). "Of Kings and Prophets: "Offerings of Blood" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  17. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 8, 2016). "Parents Television Council Blasts ABC's Biblical Drama 'Of Kings and Prophets'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  18. ^ Pena, Jessica (March 9, 2016). "Of Kings and Prophets: PTC Wants ABC TV Series Cancelled". TV Series Finale. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  19. ^ Porter, Rick (March 9, 2016). "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'Limitless' and 'NCIS: New Orleans' rerun adjust up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  20. ^ Porter, Rick (March 16, 2016). "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'Crowded' adjusts down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 16, 2016.

External links[edit]