Roma Downey and Mark Burnett hope to inspire and encourage viewers with the new faith-based mini-series, "The Dovekeepers," starring Cote de Pablo (NCIS).
The four-hour miniseries, based on Alice Hoffman's international bestseller by the same name, follows "four extraordinary women whose lives intersect in a fight for survival," according to CBS. The story focuses on the four women's separate journeys to Masda and their struggle to survive the Roman siege against the Jews in AD 70.
The drama, which will air on CBS March 31 and April 1, stars Cote de Pablo, Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards), Kathryn Prescott (Finding Carter), Diego Boneta (Pretty Little Liars). The series is produced by Downey's production company, LightWorkers Media. Downey serves as an executive producer, along with her TV producer husband Mark Burnett.
"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 told reporters Monday while promoting the project at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena.
The former "Touched By an Angel" actress added that after the overwhelming success of her Emmy-nominated "Bible" miniseries, which garnered roughly 13.1 million viewers, she knew viewers would be "hungry" for "Dovekeepers."
"At its heart, 'Dovekeepers' is a love story...there is tragedy, of course, but at its heartbeat, there is beauty and hope," Downey said on the TCA panel.
The actress-turned-producer added that fans of the book will be pleased with the big-screen adaptation.
"I think it 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."
Both Burnett and Downey are pioneers in the faith-based film industry. In addition to "Dovekeepers," the duo are preparing to release "A.D.," a sequel to "The Bible" on NBC. According to the LA Times, the couple has also "teamed up for a new religious unscripted project" that will air on TLC later this year.
And according to Downey, they don't plan to stop spreading the gospel through their work anytime soon.
"I think that we're seeing the desire for [faith-based entertainment] is back," Downey said, "I think ['The Bible's' success] shows that people are interested in these themes and they are hungry for product that inspires."