'Dig': Israel, real-life conspiracies and a close-ended story coming to USA

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"Dig" isn't the kind of show people have seen on USA before. A close-ended series with only six episodes, "Dig" is a story of murder, archaeology and conspiracies going back thousands of years. Stars Jason Isaacs and Anne Heche, along with executive producers Tim Kring ( "Heroes") and Gideon Raff, gave a first peek into this strange world at the 2014 TV Press Tour.

One of the big questions of the panel was the choice to make "Dig" a limited series with a carefully defined beginning, middle and end. "I think TV has finally seen this as a viable model," Kring says of the format. "Some stories really need that engine and that ability to tie things up."

That doesn't mean that "Dig" couldn't come back. The idea is that further seasons could take Heche's and Isaacs' characters and put them into a new mystery, probably in a new location.

But what is this story? The action begins with a murder of an American being investigated by Isaacs' Peter Connolly, the deputy legal attache at the US Embassy. With Heche playing his boss, Peter quickly falls down a rabbit hole that encompasses archaeology and fanaticism of various kinds. "As this murder mystery starts to unfold, it uncovers this sort of deep, couple thousand year old mystery," Kring explains. "Within the first two minutes of the episode, you see the birth of the red heifer."

As what is apparently a harbinger of major religious significance, these real stories form the backdrop of everything that unfolds in "Dig."

Of course, as anyone who watches the news would know, there are issues surrounding any project in production in Israel these days. The unrest there has not yet disrupted the "Dig" schedule, but the producers are understandably worried about the future. With the pilot episode wrapped, the show is on a planned hiatus before working on the rest of the season.

Kring and the others definitely want to go back -- the producer points out that having the history-filled atmosphere of Jerusalem helps to make the show. Whether he will get his wish to continue there will depend on forces far away from Hollywood.

As of now, "Dig" does not have a premiere date on USA.

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images