Ridley Scott has produced and executive produced a number of TV projects, including the recent miniseries based on Ken Follett's book World Without End and the miniseries Coma, but so far, all of his directing work has been for feature films - until now. The Alien director is set to direct his first TV pilot, which called The Vatican and is based on a script by Paul Attanasio. This is Showtime's first pilot order for 2013.

Showtime already has a pope-focused drama, with The Borgias set to return for Season 3 next year. Unlike The Borgias, which is set around the turn of the 16th century, The Vatican is described as a "contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics - set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church." With no mention of the actual pope, it sounds like the premise is open to exploring the happenings at the Vatican in general. Whether or not that includes a direct focus on the leader of the Catholic Church remains to be seen. Showtime's announcement says that House's Paul Attanasio penned the script for the hour-long drama pilot, which is said to explore the relationships, rivalries, mysteries and miracles behind the Catholic institution.

Attanasio was with House since the series' creation. With the Fox drama wrapped up, it looks like he may have found his next series, should things work out for The Vatican's pilot. As for the subject matter, give the extensive history of the Vatican and the Catholic church, there's certainly plenty of potential for something different and creative (and possibly controversial, depending on what topics are explored).

Attanasio, Scott and The Good Wife's David Zucker are on board to executive produce, while Sony Pictures Television is producing in association with Showtime. Production on the pilot, which is in consideration for series, will start next year (2013).

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