The UP TV premiere of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” on Palm Sunday delivered the network’s highest ever ratings among households and key demographics, nearly 10 years after the most successful Christian movie ever made opened in theaters.

“We knew that ‘The Passion of the Christ’ would resonate with our audience and attract new viewers to UP as well,” said Charley Humbard, president and CEO of UP. “The film is the centerpiece of our extensive Easter programming and truly epitomizes our holiday theme: ‘Easter Lives Here.'”

The 2004 movie averaged a 1.2 household rating, with an average audience of 1.1 million viewers, making it the strongest telecast ever among W18-49, W25-54, A18-49, A25-54 and P2+. The movie will air again on Thursday at 10 p.m. EDT/ 7 p.m. PDT.

The film, centered on the final hours of Jesus’ life and spoken entirely in reconstructed Aramaic and Latin, earned $611 million worldwide based on a $30 million production budget, making it the most successful Christian movie of all time – it made more domestically in its opening weekend than the total gross for 2014’s “Son of God,” the most recent film on Jesus’ life.

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