July 16, 2014 11:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'NCIS'' Cote de Pablo to Star in CBS Mini 'The Dovekeepers'
Cote de Pablo is returning to CBS.
The NCIS alum has been cast to star in the network's 2015 miniseries The Dovekeepers, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
From Roma Downey and Mark Burnett (The Bible, Survivor)the four-hour miniseries is based on Alice Hoffman's historical novel The Dovekeepers. The story centers on four women whose lives intersect in a fight for survival at the siege of Masada. Set in ancient Israel, The Dovekeepers is based on the true events at Masada in 70 C.E. After being forced out of their home in Jerusalem by the Romans, 900 Jews were ensconced in a fortress at Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. Besieged at Masada, the Jews held out for months against the vast Roman armies. The mini will recount the unfolding events from the perspective of four women who arrive at Masada independently and with unique backstories, but who share a common bond for survival.
De Pablo will play Shirah, one of the four women. The character is a sensual, mysterious and fiercely independent single mother with uncanny insights and a quiet and mysterious power. She's derided by many as the "Witch of Moab," as she covertly practices forbidden ancient rites of magic and is keenly knowledgeable about herbal remedies. However, those in need don't hesitate to approach her for her help and generosity of spirit.
"Her talent, strength and beauty will light up the screen in the important role of Shirah," Downey said of de Pablo.
The casting marks a return to the network for de Pablo, who famously exited CBS' — and TV's — top drama NCIS last season. The casting comes a year and six days after she announced her departure from the series after eight seasons. CBS brass said they did everything they could to keep the actress on the series but she "decided she didn't want to do the show." De Pablo is repped by Paradigm, Management 360 and attorneys Melanie Cook and Jamie Asifi.
Dovekeepers, picked up straight to series in December, marks the first project to come from CBS Entertainment and CBS Television Studios' recently announced limited series and event programming unit under the newly hired Stacy Mandelberg. It will be distributed worldwide by CBS Studios International. The mini is a co-production between CBS Television Studios and LightWorkers Media. Downey and Burnett will exec produce. Mandelberg, vp limited series and event programming, will oversee production. Frank Siracusa, John Weber and Yves Simoneau also exec produce, with the latter on board to direct. Ann Peacock adapted the novel for CBS.