Pilot Scoop: Kyle Chandler Tees Up TV Return as Star of Showtime's The Vatican

The Vatican Kyle Chandler Showtime PilotClear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose with Kyle Chandler as your headliner.

That’s no doubt the feeling among Showtime execs, who just lured the Friday Night Lights superstar back to the small screen with a starring role in the drama pilot The Vatican.

The project, directed by Ridley Scott and penned by Paul Attanasio (House), promises a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics – set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church.

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Chandler will play Cardinal Thomas Duffy, the charismatic yet enigmatic Archbishop of New York whose progressive leanings excite some and alarm others within the hierarchy of the Church.

Additionally, Matthew Goode (A Single Man) and Sebastian Koch (A Good Day to Die Hard) have joined the cast as Papal Secretary Bernd Koch and Cardinal Marco Malerba, respectively.

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Since FNL ended two years ago, Chandler — easily pilot season’s biggest male get — has resisted a return to the small screen, opting instead to take meaty supporting roles in film such as Argo, Zero Dark Thirty and Super 8.

“Kyle Chandler is one of the most talented and sought-after actors working today,” said Showtime president David Nevins, who served as an EP on FNL“With Kyle, Matthew Goode and Sebastian Koch, Ridley and Paul have put together a powerhouse cast to anchor this incredibly timely show.”

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  1. This cast is amazing! Love Kyle Chandler!

  2. Cher says:

    OMG! I’m going to go to Hell…there will be thoughts…

  3. Joe says:

    How timely is this though? Right after the pope’s resignation we get a show about the Vatican.

  4. tvgeekcw says:

    Now I am going to have to get Showtime!

  5. Kelly says:

    Words cannot express how excited I am now about this show. Love Kyle Chandler so much.

  6. Anna says:

    This sounds awesome! I love to see Kyle Chandler back on TV – even though I did enjoy his appearances in Zero Dark Thirty and Argo a lot! More Kyle Chandler, I say!

  7. Superhero says:


    Not only is Coach finally returning to television, but he’s doing it on a cable show? It’s a goddamn dream come true. This one just vaulted up my interest list.

  8. MD says:

    Matthew Goode AND Kyle Chandler?! Count me in!

  9. Linda says:

    I too love Kyle Chandler and am very excited to see this new show….Love all his work..

  10. Patricia says:

    Sounds really boring

  11. D'oh says:

    Uhhh…what are the odds of some sex scenes? Because if it’s cable, and it’s Kyle. I’m gonna need to see some sex.

    • Superhero says:

      It’s Showtime. There’s a pretty good chance there’s gonna be some sex.

      • Dreamrose says:

        This despite the fact that most of the characters are supposed to be celibate priests. But this is television. So, of course the priests are going to be doing all sorts of un-priestly things, either because they’re bad priests or because they’re speaking truth to power.

    • wi says:

      I love me a good sex scene, but one with Coach Taylor… it feels like finding your parents sex tape

  12. jimbo says:

    KYLE CHANDLER!! I love and missed him ever since FNL ended. The premise does sound rather boring though, I’m not really into any Borgia/Downton Abbey kind of show. Nonetheless I’ll probably watching every single episode with clear eyes and full hearts.

  13. Eliza says:

    Great news. I think Kyle Chandler is a great actor. Now I have to subscribe to Showtime.

  14. lariet50 says:

    That’s an awful lot of man candy for a show about priests.

  15. Dr.Comic says:

    This and showtime will be boycotted by catholics worldwide if they “go there”.

    • wi says:

      What else is new? Showtime actually stopped repeating Penn and Teller’s Vatican episode after the massive amounts of complaints it generated ((and I had to rephrase this post, since one I wrote with explicit wording of the name of the show would not show))