July 14, 2014 11:01am PT by Philiana Ng
USA's 'Dig' Event Series Aims to Tell 'Proper Story'
USA Network continues its march into provocative drama with six-episode event series Dig.
From Heroes creator Tim Kring and Gideon Raff, Dig explores the world of Peter (Jason Isaacs), an FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem who, while investigating the murder of an archeologist, uncovers a conspiracy 2,000 years in the making that threatens to change the course of history. Anne Heche, Lauren Ambrose, Ori Pfeffer and Alison Sudol also star in the series, which showed its first clip-based trailer Monday at the Television Critics Association press tour session.
Dig is currently on a pre-planned break following production on the first episode in Jerusalem. Hostilities in the region have forced producers and studios to assess potential alternative plans should they be forced to move out of the area. Executive producer Raff (Homeland, Tyrant), who was born and raised in Jerusalem, emphasized the importance of filming where the show is set. "Jerusalem is a key element in our show," he said, citing its rich history and secrets.
Establishing a limited arc was a preferred avenue for Kring, who believes there's a "power of scarcity." "When J.K. Rowling told the world she was going to write seven Harry Potters, it made those books very precious to people," Kring said. "[There] was something very compelling about that."
Kring and Isaacs have had previous experiences with shows that may have been better served with an end date or end goal in mind: Heroes and the complex drama Awake. Kring noted that some stories "really lend themselves to a beginning, middle and end" and "need an engine to really tie things up. Knowing where you're going is a luxury." Added Isaacs: "It takes you on a journey...and normally the ending is the most important part.... I love telling a proper story, and this is a proper story."
Though the producers insisted that they are focused on producing the six episodes, Raff admitted to at least thinking about where they could take things should the opportunity arise to further the story.
Kring also fielded queries about reviving the Heroes franchise with Heroes Reborn for NBC in 2015, though he didn't offer any new updates. (Jack Coleman is the first Heroes alum who will reprise his role in the reboot.)
"All of my attention is focused on Dig. This project predated the announcement that Heroes Reborn was going to come back," Kring said. "Hopefully I'll get to talk about [Heroes Reborn] when that's on deck."
Dig premieres in the fall on USA Network.