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Divine Intervention? Showtime’s ‘Vatican’ Project Gets Boost From Papal Changeover

By | Friday February 15, 2013 @ 3:08pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Talk about perfect timing. For several years, House executive producer Paul Attanasio and Sony TV had been working on a show set at the Vatican. They pitched it to Showtime last fall and, after months of discussions, the pay cable network greenlighted the project to pilot in the final days of 2012 with Ridley Scott attached to direct in his pilot directing debut. With Attanasio and Scott on board, Vatican already appeared a formidable contender for a series pickup. Then lightning struck — literally. On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, thrusting the inner workings of the Vatican into the spotlight. Hours later, a lightning bolt struck the Vatican’s St Peter’s Basilica, which perfectly illustrates what the odds are of real events mirroring a fictional TV show.

As conceived, Vatican is a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church. Like Pope Benedict, the show’s fictional Pope Sixtus VI hails from Bavaria. Attanasio’s script even makes a fleeting mention of the Pope resigning. While I hear the reference is just a point in an argument, it is getting attention because of Benedict’s … Read More »

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Kyle Chandler to Star In Showtime’s ‘Vatican’ Pilot From Paul Attanasio And Ridley Scott

By | Friday February 15, 2013 @ 1:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Kyle Chandler Vatican ShowtimeHe has been one of the most wanted men for television series for the past two years. After passing on dozens of pilots, Kyle Chandler has finally picked his follow-up to Friday Night Lights, which won him an Emmy. Chandler is set as the lead in Vatican, Showtime‘s high-profile drama pilot from Oscar nominees Paul Attanasio and Ridley Scott. Also joining the pilot, written by Attanasio and to be directed by Scott in his pilot directing debut, is German actor Sebastian Koch (The Lives Of Others). They join previously cast Matthew Goode. Vatican reunites Chandler with Showtime entertainment president David Nevins, who as president of Imagine TV executive produced the critically acclaimed Friday Night Lights.

Said to evoke The Sopranos and Upstairs, Downstairs, Vatican is described as a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church. Chandler will play Cardinal Thomas Duffy, the charismatic yet enigmatic Archbishop of New York, whose progressive leanings (he has ordained a woman) excite some and alarm others within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Koch will play Cardinal Marco Malerba, the Vatican’s Secretary of State who is informally known as the “dark prince of the Curia” for his proven abilities to ruthlessly wield power within the Church hierarchy. Goode plays Papal Secretary Bernd Koch. “Kyle Chandler is one of the most talented and sought-after actors working today, and was a fantastic creative partner through five seasons of Friday Night Lights,“ said Nevins. “With Kyle, Matthew Goode and Sebastian Koch, Ridley and Paul have put together a powerhouse cast to anchor this incredibly timely show.” The Vatican, produced by Sony Pictures TV in association with Showtime and Scott Free, is set to begin production in April. Read More »

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Matthew Goode Cast In Showtime Pilot ‘Vatican’, Virginia Madsen To Star In NBC’s ‘Hatfields & McCoys’

By | Tuesday February 12, 2013 @ 4:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Matthew Goode (A Single Man) has been cast in Vatican, Showtime’s drama pilot from Paul Attanasio, Sony Pictures TV and Scott Free. Directed by Ridley Scott, Vatican is described as a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church. Goode will play Papal Secretary Bernd Koch, the current Pope’s closest confidante, giving him a very powerful perch within the inner-circle of the Vatican.

Virginia Madsen has been tapped for a lead role in NBC’s drama pilot Hatfields & McCoys, a modern-day Hatfields and McCoys project created by John Glenn and produced by Charlize Theron, Dawn Parouse Olmstead, Beau Flynn and ABC Studios. A startling death re-ignites the feud between these two legendary families in present-day Pittsburgh, unleashing decades of resentment. Madsen will play the matriarch of the McCoy clan, Eloise McCoy, a self-made woman who, despite her seemingly calm demeanor, is an extremely vengeful and calculated woman who will do anything for her family. Read More »

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