21 December 2012 4:19 AM, PST | TVfanatic | See recent TVfanatic news »

Ridley Scott has signed on to direct his first project for the small screen.

The three-time Oscar nominee will be behind the camera for The Vatican premiere, described by Showtime as "a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics – set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church."

According to a network press release, the series "will explore the relationships and rivalries as well as the mysteries and miracles behind one of the world’s most hidden institutions."

Only a pilot for the drama has been ordered at this stage, but it seems hard to believe The Vatican will not receive a full green light from the network.

This spring, meanwhile, Showtime will premiere two new shows:

Masters of Sex, which stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan star as William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality. Ray Donovan, whose title »

- matt@mediavine.com (Matt Richenthal)

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