Go break out those behemoth copies of James Michener’s The Source, because Middle Eastern archeological thrillers are making a comeback. Heroes creator Tim Kring and Gideon Raff, creator of the Israeli series Prisoners Of War that forms the basis of Homeland, have inked a six-episode order at USA for Dig, an “archeological thriller about an American FBI agent in Jerusalem.” Dig is the first Israeli-made drama to be sold directly to series for American audiences, and it will film entirely on location in Jerusalem, with access already granted to the city’s historical sites. The show will center on Peter, an agent stationed in the Holy Land, who “stumbles into a 2,000-year-old conspiracy embedded in the archeological mysteries of the ancient city” while investigating a murder.
According to Variety, the initial idea for the series came from Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who thought the ancient tunnels beneath the city would make for an ideal thriller setting. He sought out Raff, and the two selected Kring to be their American partner when shopping the show. Hey, if we’re now taking television pitches from mayors of big cities, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford probably has a few ideas Shawn Ryan might want to listen to.