CBS promises miniseries will be `papal page-turner'

July 20, 2005|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

It may not outdo The Da Vinci Code, but CBS' programming chief says the network's miniseries about Pope John Paul II promises to be "a papal page-turner."

Speaking yesterday at the semiannual Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, CBS entertainment President Nina Tassler told reporters she had just finished reading the script for the first of two planned episodes dramatizing the life of the Polish-born pontiff, who died in April at age 84.

The network has not set a date for the premiere of the miniseries, which will star Ian Holm as the elderly pope and Cary Elwes as the young Karol Wojtyla, who became John Paul II in 1978.

CBS said last month that the Vatican would cooperate with the project.

Tassler said the movie will set Wojtyla's spiritual journey against the Nazi attack on Poland in 1939 and other dramatic events.

"It tracks, in a very personal and emotional way, how he got his calling," Tassler said. "It's a papal page-turner."

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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