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Showtime backs away from its Catholic Church drama The Vatican

Besieged by controversy in a way that was not at all befitting the Catholic Church, Showtime’s The Vatican is officially not moving forward, the network confirmed today. Deadline reports that the pilot “didn’t come in as strong as everyone expected given its pedigree”—a criticism that its director, Ridley Scott, must be getting used to hearing a lot lately. But of course, there will be obvious speculation that the series—which would have starred Kyle Chandler as a progressive, New York-based cardinal who challenges the church, and particularly the pope as played by a guy who played Hitler—simply proved to be too great of a risk, given that the show was already getting condemned by the conservative Culture And Media Institute based entirely on its logline, as well as the need to condemn something that day. It’s also possible that the thriller’s plotline about the shadowy political cabal within the Vatican was totally screwed up by Pope Francis being so cool. Thanks a lot, Pope Francis! Person of the Year, my ass.  

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