By James Hibberd
Updated December 12, 2013 at 07:27 PM EST
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Showtime has decided to not move forward with its controversial series project The Vatican.

The network has elected to scrap the high-profile and talent-heavy project, which starred Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) as a New York cardinal and Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) as his sister in a provocative thriller. Ridley Scott (Gladiator) directed the pilot, which was shot earlier this year. It’s less likely for a pilot with this strong of a pedigree on premium cable to blow up on the launch pad.

Since The Vatican was announced last year, at least one Catholic group slammed the project as “an assault on the Catholic Church” sight unseen based on its rather innocuous description. Showtime was thrown some similar reactions to diabolical pope drama The Borgias. Showtime entertainment president David Nevins told us that The Vatican, which included a supernatural element, simply wasn’t coming together creatively.