At the moment, Battle Creek is doing quite well for CBS, but more importantly, it’s doing great business for its producing studio, Sony Pictures Television. Because of this, the company is fast-tracking just about everything with David Shore’s name attached to it, and that explains this latest direct-to-series pick-up with an international spin.
A supernatural crime drama inspired by the unlikely real-life friendship between Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and illusionist Harry Houdini is headed to the small screen in the U.S., UK and Canada. I’ve learned that Sony Pictures TV has sold the 10-episode series to Fox, the UK’s ITV and Canada’s Shaw Media. Titled Houdini And Doyle, the drama — which will go straight to series — hails from The Librarian franchise creator David Titcher, House creator David Shore and House writer-producer David Hoselton. Canada’s Shaftesbury and the UK’s Big Talk co-produce, with Sony TV, where Shore is under an overall deal, distributing worldwide.
In Houdini And Doyle, two of the great characters of the 20th century — Houdini, master magician, escape artist and paranormal debunker, and Doyle, creator of the world’s greatest detective and a paranormal aficionado — grudgingly join forces to investigate crimes with a supernatural slant.
Fox has reportedly been looking to get Shore back on the network for a while. However, being able to co-produce the show internationally means it won’t have to score huge ratings to stay on the air as the cost will be divided between multiple entities. With ratings pressure (mostly) off, this should be an interesting series when it finally hits television screens sometime in the next year or so.