In December, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey — the new It Couple of TV Miniseries/Event Series — landed CBS‘ first announced project from its new limited series and event programming unit. Like Burnett and Downey’s The Bible, The Dovekeepers is an historical series with religious overtones. The Dovekeepers is a four-hour miniseries based in Alice Hoffman’s historical novel about the Siege of Masada, and it will air on CBS in 2015. The mini will focus on “four extraordinary women whose lives intersect in a fight for survival at the siege of Masada,” according to CBS. Masada is the mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea where the Romans found the last pocket of resistance after they conquered Jerusalem in 70 CE.
“We felt [the book] was best served if the screenplay came through the heart of a strong woman and Peacock is such a woman,” Downey said in a phone interview. “I met her right before Christmas; she came to our house in Malibu and I sat down with her and she clearly loved the book. Her book had Post-its sticking out from a hundred different pages where she’d lovingly made notes. She said whether she was brought on board or not, she was forever changed from having read the book and I was elated, because I could not put this book down when I first read it. I was like a woman who had fallen in love — I was hungry, turning pages, staying up later than I should have, in the absence of being able to pick it up the next day missing the book. When I was finished I missed the characters, longed for the characters – they got under my skin”.