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‘The Chosen’ Announces Release Of Season Four, Parts Ways With Angel Studios

By Kathryn Post
The Chosen Season Four
Actor Jonathan Roumie, center, portrays Jesus Christ in Season Four of the series “The Chosen.” (Photo courtesy of “The Chosen”)

After months of delay and a legal dispute, the first episode of “The Chosen,” Season Four, will drop on the show’s app at 7 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, June 2.

“The wait is finally over. The response from those who’ve seen Season 4 in theaters was that this is our best season, so I can’t wait to deliver these episodes free and easy to the world,” said Dallas Jenkins, the creator, producer and director of the wildly popular TV series on Jesus’ life, in a press release Wednesday. 

Jenkins first announced the stalling of Season Four to the app in early March, citing legal matters as reason for the delay. The season had premiered in theaters in February 2024, and after the delay was announced, all eight episodes were released in theaters the week of Easter at a discounted price. “The Chosen” will release two new episodes a week on the app through the month of June, on Sundays and Thursdays. Season Four DVDs, Jenkins said, are also shipping out, allowing viewers to watch all eight episodes at once.

The legal dispute behind the delay involved The Chosen LLC, a company that now has 65 full-time employees, and its onetime partner Angel Studios, a media company based in Provo, Utah. While Angel Studios — which was also behind the 2023 Christian thriller “Sound of Freedom,” which grossed over $250 million at the box office — was initially responsible for the primary distribution of the show, “that is no longer the case,” Jenkins told Religion News Service in an interview on May 21. 

Jenkins said The Chosen LLC and Angel Studios had “different ideas of how to interpret both the contract and what’s going to sustain us in our future.” Ultimately, he said, the pay-it-forward model that originated with Angel Studios wouldn’t allow “The Chosen” to meet its goals of reaching a billion people — including those who can’t pay for it — while also financing future seasons, said Jenkins.

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He said in a video announcement posted Wednesday that roughly 40% of the pay-it-forward contributions came to The Chosen LLC. The rest, he said, went to marketing and to Angel Studios.

The Chosen
Director Dallas Jenkins, center right, on the set of “The Chosen” during Season Four. (Image courtesy of “The Chosen”)

“Our strong assessment is that for us to sustain ourselves in the future, and to be able to not only generate income for the money that has already been spent, but also for future seasons, we have to find a new path, and we have to find a new form of partner,” said Jenkins in an interview with RNS predating an arbitration decision. 

To secure the financial future of the show, Jenkins said, The Chosen LLC entered into a new agreement with Angel Studios in 2022 that incorporated the Come and See Foundation, a nonprofit whose donations go directly to the marketing, production and international translations of “The Chosen.” The new agreement also transformed the old Chosen app into the Angel app and created a new Chosen app dedicated solely to “The Chosen.” New seasons would premiere simultaneously on the Angel and Chosen apps before being released elsewhere. 

Jenkins said in the video that The Chosen LLC contends that, shortly after the agreement, Angel Studios “breached our contract on multiple occasions, to the extent that we believe it should be terminated.” Jenkins did not elaborate on the details of the alleged breaches. According to Angel Studios’ filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Angel Studios entered into a new content license agreement with The Chosen LLC in October 2022, and The Chosen LLC sought to terminate the agreement for “alleged material breaches of contract” in April 2023 and again in October 2023.

“Revenues recognized during the years ended December 31, 2023, December 31, 2022, and December 31, 2021 and derived from the Chosen Agreement were $40 million, $68 million, and $116 million, respectively,” Angel Studio’s filings claim. “We strongly dispute all such alleged material breaches and intend to vigorously defend our interests in the matter.”

Poster for "The Chosen" Season 4. (Image courtesy The Chosen)

Poster for “The Chosen,” Season Four. (Image courtesy of “The Chosen”)

Eventually, The Chosen LLC and Angel Studios engaged a third-party arbitrator to settle the dispute, and on Tuesday, the arbitrator agreed with The Chosen LLC that the contract had been breached, according to Jenkins. 

“The contract is indeed terminated, and The Chosen’s relationship with Angel Studios is effectively over,” Jenkins said in Wednesday’s video. 

He added that the situation is “ongoing,” but in the short term, Season Four of “The Chosen” will only be released on the Chosen app, rather than on both that app and in the Angel app, before being made available on other platforms. Lionsgate, which distributes “The Chosen” to third parties such as Amazon Prime, Netflix and Peacock, was not impacted by the arbitration.

Jenkins noted that Angel Studios and The Chosen LLC initially tried to settle their disagreement privately, seeing it as a “biblical mandate” to do so. He also gave Angel Studios credit for its role in the creation of the show, telling RNS it “wouldn’t exist in its current form” without the former partners. While he understands fans’ annoyance with the delay, Jenkins told RNS it’s unfortunate that people have been jumping to conclusions about “either side” being “greedy or unbiblical.”

“It’s frustrating, but it’s a process, it’s a necessary process for the long-term future of the show,” he said.

With over 200 million viewers, “The Chosen” has far outpaced the reach of typical faith-based fare, receiving shoutouts from the likes of Kourtney Kardashian and country singer Blake Shelton. In addition to the Chosen app, viewers can currently watch Seasons One through Three on Amazon Prime, Hulu and Peacock and Season One on Netflix. Seven seasons are expected in total, and “The Chosen” is currently filming Season Five. Jenkins said the 600 fans who were invited to the Utah set as extras added extra emotional depth to the Holy Week scenes they’ve been filming.

“If Season Five lives up to the intensity and the passion that’s taking place on set, it’s gonna for sure be our most impactful season yet,” Jenkins said.

 

Kathryn Post is a reporter for Religion News Service based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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5 Responses

  1. I find so much about this series to be biblically unsound and many believe all they see about this series without searching the scripture.

    My opinion is that many find ways to profit off the gospel and are wordsmiths at trying to sound humble in their endeavors. If you study their financials and see the large salaries they pay themselves you see their greed

    Said commentary, but look at the facts and see if you agree.

  2. I understand many people find them controversial, and say elements of this are bad; yet I am thankful for The Chosen series. thank you-

  3. 4 DVDs for 8 episodes…..can you say cash grab?
    Not Disney has that kind of chutzpah for their streamer series physical releases

  4. So happy to hear that their legal conflicts have been resolved! Looking forward to seeing the new episode on Sunday night.

  5. The Chosen has been one of the most powerful presentations of the truth about Jesus. It has really reignited my love for him. I accept that some of the stories are fictional yet plausible yet I feel the storyline never loses its integrity in communicating the story of the disciples and Jesus.

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