Inside Move

Eye opting for papal input

The battle of the dueling Jesus projects has now reached papal proportions. NBC put its religious-themed telepic “Mary, Mother of Jesus” on the air first, but CBS has the Pope on its side.

CBS Television CEO Leslie Moonves will have an audience with Pope John Paul II on Thursday to deliver a copy of the Eye net’s upcoming miniseries “Jesus.”

Moonves, along with “Jesus” exec producers Lorenzo Minoli and Judd Parkin, actors Jeremy Sisto (who plays Jesus) and Jacqueline Bisset (Mary) and singer LeAnn Rimes (who contributed a song to the miniseries) will travel to the Vatican and meet with His Holiness at a midday papal reception.

The four-hour mini, set to air during May sweeps, was filmed in Morocco and Malta this summer. No word on whether the pope plans to pitch any possible projects (“Touched by a Pontiff”?) for the Eye.

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