11:13am PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
First Look at Mark Burnett's 'The Dovekeepers'
The uber-producer couple is at it again.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's newest project is The Dovekeepers, CBS' upcoming four-hour miniseries that tells the story of a group of extraordinary women who fight for survival at the Siege of Masada in 73 C.E. after 900 Jews are forced out of their homes in Jerusalem by the Romans.
"All over the world, there are unfortunately people everywhere being persecuted for their faith, and [Dovekeepers] speaks to that," said Downey, on hand at the Television Critics Association semiannual press tour Monday to peddle the series. "It’s a profoundly moving story that has a tragedy to it, of course, but at the heart of it there is a beauty and a hope."
Based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Alice Hoffman, the series stars Cote de Pablo, Rachel Brosnahan and Kathryn Prescott as the titular dovekeepers, Sam Neill as first-century Jewish historian Josephus, and Diego Boneta as a warrior in the Jewish army.
It was Downey who read the book and "felt the call" to bring it to the small screen. She pitched the television adaption to CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler, who had just returned from a trip to Masada and was taken by the sacrificial tale.
Watch a sneak peek of the two-part mini, which airs March 31 and April 1.