The Dovekeepers: Critical Reaction

Post broadcast of The Dovekeepers, the reaction from critics and fans alike has been anything but glowing.  The show earned a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 46 on metacritic.  The majority of the reviews were average to mixed, noting the talent of the actors but panning the writing and story structure of the script.

Mark Perigard of The Boston Herald said “The miniseries frames the story in a way that robs it of its power. It opens with Jewish historian Josephus interrogating two of the survivors of the siege, Shirah and her surrogate daughter Yael…The repeated cutaways to their confessions across the two nights dump gobs of exposition. Relationships begin and end off-camera.”

Mary McNamara of the LA Times praised the actors but was baffled at how terrible the story was despite the source material.  “De Pablo and especially Brosnahan do their level best, but the camera is far more interested in how great they look beneath their head scarves than anything else. It quickly becomes difficult not to long for the terrible finale and just as difficult not to hate yourself for longing for it.”

Fans had mixed reactions as well, as evidenced by the 10% decline in the 18-49 demographic and 2.6 million viewers lost between night one and night two.  Though Twitter was abuzz about the talent of Cote dePablo, with fans praising her talents, there were an equal amount picking the story apart, tearing down Roma Downey’s attempt to adapt a beloved novel.

The Dovekeepers Premieres

The Dovekeepers premiered on Tuesday night at 9 pm after a substantial publicity push throughout the day.  The show premiered after the CBS juggernaut, NCIS, whose 18-49 rating was at a season low of 2.1/7 and 16.3 million total viewers. The Dovekeepers did not hold on to a significant portion of that audience, beginning it’s 2 night run with a 1.0/3 in the 18-49 demographic and 8.99 million total viewers.  The show won both the time slots it occupied, both 9 and 10pm, and came in second in overall viewers for the night after NCIS.  Though it overtook it’s closest time slot competitor, NBC’s Undateable, by 4 million viewers, it did have a weak performance in the 18-49.  It’s 1.0 rating was one of the weakest of the night, only slimly beating a rerun of Chicago PD and the series premiere of Weird Loners.

Hopefully the second night, whose content was arguably stronger than the first, will carry the respectable audience the first night garnered and can finish out strong.

The Dovekeepers Publicity and Cross Promotion

In another interesting move publicity-wise for The Dovekeepers, star Diego Boneta has released a music video for his new song Warrior, which is featured on the soundtrack of The Dovekeepers.  The singer-actor is calling this video his “comeback to music” on JustJared, and said of his Dovekeepers experience “I am very grateful to [executive producers] Mark Burnett and Roma Downey for supporting both of my acting and musical career. Working with Mark and Roma has been one of the greatest experiences in my entire career.”

The video can be found on Diego Boneta’s YouTube account.

The miniseries has also been keeping up their activity on social media sites, encouraging fans to tweet #AskTheDovekeepers for a Q&A video with stars Diego Boneta and Cote De Pablo for  With only one week until the premiere of the series, I would expect these efforts to continue to increase as we get closer and closer to the March 31 premiere.

The Dovekeepers – Publicity

Publicity for the CBS miniseries The Dovekeepers has been ramped up in recent weeks.  The most prominent of the promotions campaign is that the 30 second ad has begun running on CBS in primetime.  CBS has also been releasing a number of promotional videos on it’s website as well as on YouTube, including set tours with each major cast member.  There have also been segment appearances on shows like Entertainment Tonight and print articles in TV Guide magazine and CBS Watch magazine.

The more interesting of the promotions has been the digital and social media campaign.  The Dovekeepers has been getting decent exposure on the CBS Television website, with features on the front page.  It also has a Facebook, and Twitter, on which they conducted an “Ask the Author” livetweeting session with author Alice Hoffman under the hashtag #TheDovekeepersAskAlice.  More unconventionally the show also has a Pinterest account, on which CBS is releasing the sketches for wardrobe, jewelry and set design as well as promotional stills.   Whether or not this promotion will boost the ratings for the broadcast is yet to be seen.  The Dovekeepers airs on CBS March 31 and April 1.

The Dovekeepers – The Production Team

The creative minds behind The Dovekeepers are the dynamic husband and wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. Both Downey and Burnett have done extensive work prior to this miniseries on their own terms. Roma Downey is an Emmy award-nominates actress with prominent roles in television shows like Touched By An Angel, and Burnett is one of the most prominent reality tv producers both in the US and internationally with hits such as Shark Tank, The Voice, and The Apprentice.

As much success they’ve had separately they are an even more dynamic team together.  Burnett and Downey were the creative minds between the epic miniseries The Bible, Burnett’s first scripted work, which has garnered more than 100 million views cumulatively.  In addition to The Dovekeepers, the pair has produced another 12-week miniseries, a sequel to The Bible titled AD: The BIble Continues to air on NBC starting Easter Sunday. Looking to the future, Burnett and Downey are also producing a big screen remake of Ben-Hur, another religious historical adaptation to add to their growing list.

The Dovekeepers – Introduction

The Dovekeepers is an original four hour miniseries for CBS produced by husband and wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. The gripping tale details the lives of three women, Shirah (Cote De Pablo), Yael (Rachel Broshanan) and Aziza (Kathryn Prescott) whose stories and lives are tightly wound together through the siege of Masada in 70 AD. The series was based on a novel by the same title by Alice Hoffman, which was originally released in 2011.  During the CBS winter TCA event producer Roma Downey said “At its heart, ‘Dovekeepers’ is a love story…there is tragedy, of course, but at its heartbeat, there is beauty and hope.” The series will air in a two night event March 31 and April 1 on CBS at 9pm following it’s juggernaut, NCIS.

Galavant – Post Two

Galavant finished it’s eight episode four-week run with a whimper as it earned a 1.1/3 in the 18-49 demo according to Nielsen.  The show was up against no special programming, as it’s usual competitor, Sunday Night Football, finished its season the previous week.  Though the ratings leave something to be desired for ABC, the production team at Galavant seemed confident a renewal would come through.  They ended the season with a number of cliffhangers that left fans wanting more, but will leave the story very unfinished should the show not be picked up for a second season as TV Line predicts.

On the upside for Galavant, the soundtrack to the miniseries, written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater, seems to be achieving moderate success, with a 4.3/5 rating on Amazon and a 4.5/5 on iTunes. The well known Menken seems to be the greatest draw to the series, with his musical style established in films like AladdinThe Little Mermaid and Pocahontas.  Variety pointed out that should the soundtrack win any Emmy awards this season, Menken will be amongst the elite who possess an EGOT.


Galavant, a musical comedy created by Dan Fogelman in collaboration with Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, is a miniseries on the ABC dockett for a short run at the top of the winter season.  The show is in the 8/7c time slot typically occupied by ABC’s hit Once Upon A Time.  The show debuted on January 4 with the first two of it’s eight episodes. The double header airing continued throughout the series, with two half hour episodes every Sunday.  Though this tactic may have been selected to pull in viewers, or simply to run through the episodes quickly to fit in OUAT’s hiatus, it did not seem to affect the ratings, as Nielsen did not indicate there was any change in ratings between the two half hour programs.