"The Vatican" is 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."
Friel will play Kayla Duffy, the younger sister of Cardinal Thomas Duffy played by Kyle Chandler. Her character is a sexually active, hard-partying New Yorker, The Hollywood Reporter said Friday.
Chandler plays her opposite as the "charismatic yet enigmatic archbishop of New York, whose progressive leanings excite some and alarm others within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church," Showtime said.
Matthew Goode and Sebastian Koch will play supporting roles in the pilot, which is being directed by Ridley Scott and written by Paul Attanasio.