With the clock running out on cast options, Showtime has formally made the decision not to proceed with high profile drama pilot The Vatican. The move had been widely expected as, by most accounts, the pilot didn’t come in as strong as everyone expected given its pedigree. Written by Paul Attanasio, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Kyle Chandler, The Vatican was described as a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church. While it is not going forward, I hear Showtime brass is high on its other two pilots, drama The Affair and Philip Seymour Hoffman-starring comedy Happyish (formerly Trending Down), with series pickup decisions pending. Showtime also has upcoming direct-to-series genre drama Penny Dreadful. The network can be very picky in its series choices because of its strong track record, with all new scripted shows under entertainment president David Nevins launching successfully, including Homeland, House Of Lies, Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex.
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