Chilean-American actress Cote de Pablo is to lead the cast of the small-screen adaptation of Alice Hoffman's acclaimed 2011 historical novel The Dovekeepers.

The four-hour CBS miniseries from executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett is scheduled for broadcast in 2015.

De Pablo will play Shirah, one of four extraordinary women whose lives intersect in a fight for survival at the siege of Masada in ancient Israel. Shirah is described in press notes as "a sensual, mysterious and fiercely independent single mother with uncanny insights and a quiet and mysterious power."

Casting for the other three women has not been announced yet.

"We are thrilled to have Cote de Pablo starring in The Dovekeepers," Downey said in a statement. "Her talent, strength and beauty will light up the screen in the important role of Shirah."

De Pablo starred as Special Agent Ziva David for eight seasons on the hit series NCIS. Downey and Burnett were the producers of the 2013 ratings juggernaut The Bible.

"After being forced out of their home in Jerusalem by the Romans, 900 Jews were ensconced in a fortress at Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert," a synopsis said. "Besieged at Masada, the Jews held out for months against the vast Roman armies. The miniseries will recount the unfolding events from the perspective of four extraordinary women who arrive at Masada with unique back stories, but who share a common bond for survival."