Roma Downey, Mark Burnett’s ‘The Dovekeepers’ Gets CBS Airdates

Two-night event series is the first project from CBS Entertainment and CBS Television Studios’ Limited Series and Event Programming unit

CBS has set March 31 and April 1 airdates for the four-hour event series “The Dovekeepers,” which comes from executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett.

Adapted from Alice Hoffman’s bestselling 2011 historical novel of the same name, the two-night series stars Cote de Pablo (“NCIS”), Rachel Brosnahan (“Manhattan”), Kathryn Prescott (“Finding Carter“), Sam Neill and Diego Boneta (“Rock of Ages”).

“The Dovekeepers” tells the story of four extraordinary women whose lives intersect in a fight for survival at the siege of Masada, which occurred in 70 CE on a large hilltop in current-day Israel.

“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,” explained a statement from CBS on Thursday. “Besieged at Masada, the Jews held out for months against the vast Roman armies. The project will recount the events from the perspective of a few extraordinary women who arrive at Masada with unique backstories, but a common bond for survival. Additionally, these women, who work together daily as dovekeepers, are all concealing substantial secrets.”

“Survivor” creator Burnett and Downey previously produced “The Bible” for the History Channel, which was adapted for the big screen earlier this year, earning $59 million stateside.

Read the full press release from CBS below.

CBS today announced THE DOVEKEEPERS, a four-hour limited event series from executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, will be broadcast Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1, 2015 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT).

The project stars Cote de Pablo, Rachel Brosnahan and Kathryn Prescott in the title dovekeeper roles, Sam Neill as first-century Jewish scholar and historian Josephus, and Diego Boneta as a star warrior of the Jewish army at Masada. The series is based on Alice Hoffman’s bestselling, critically acclaimed historical novel about a group of extraordinary 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 project will recount the events from the perspective of a few extraordinary women who arrive at Masada with unique backstories, but a common bond for survival. Additionally, these women, who work together daily as dovekeepers, are all concealing substantial secrets.

Hoffman’s novel was published in 2011 by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, earning the New York Times’ bestseller status and widespread critical acclaim, including being hailed by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison as “a major contribution to 21st century literature.”

THE DOVEKEEPERS will be brought to television from executive producers Roma Downey and multiple Emmy Award winner Mark Burnett (SURVIVOR, “The Voice”), the production team behind the Emmy-nominated 10-hour miniseries “The Bible,” which scored big ratings for the History Channel in March 2013, and the feature “Son of God.”

Frank Siracusa, John Weber and Yves Simoneau also serve as executive producers, with Simoneau directing. Ann Peacock adapted the novel for the screen.

THE DOVEKEEPERS is the first project from CBS Entertainment and CBS Television Studios’ Limited Series and Event Programming unit. It is a co-production between CBS Television Studios and LightWorkers Media, a division of United Artists Media Group.