Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett have become the couple to watch when it comes to faith-based television programming. Downey is famous for 10 years of Touched by an Angel, of course. But she and husband Mark also caught the eye of the public with their ten-part mini-series for the History Channel, The Bible.
The mini-series was put out by Downey and Burnett’s production company LightWorkers Media.
“I think that we’re seeing the desire for that is back,” Downey told reporters recently at the Television Critics’ Association in Pasadena. “I think [The Bible‘s success] shows that people are interested in these themes and they are hungry for product that inspires.”
Now LightWorkers is launching a new project, this one based on the novel by Alice Hoffman, The Dovekeepers.
“I was so profoundly touched by the story of a persecuted peoples who in the face of persecution, stood up for what they believed in,” Downey says of the novel.
According to Amazon, the novel The Dovekeepers is set in the time of the siege of Masada, a Jewish stronghold that held out after the romans razed Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
“Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power.
“The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.”
“I think [the mini-series] stays very true to the essence of the book,” Downey said. “There are many characters in the book and we have four hours…. We expand in some places and condense in others. I think that fans of this book will love it. They will see some differences, but I think everyone will be happy.”
The mini-series airs March 31 and April 1 on CBS. It stars Cote de Pablo from NCIS, Rachel Brosnahan from House of Cards, Kathryn Prescott from Finding Carter, and Diego Boneta from Pretty Little Liars.