Sony Pictures TV has cooked up a new take on the supernatural for a new television series based on the unusual friendship between famous magician-illusionist Harry Houdini and prolific author Arthur Conan Doyle. Dubbed Houdini And Doyle, the 10-episode series has been sold to a number of global parties, including Fox (US), ITV (UK) and Shaw Media (Canada). As part of the deal struck with the networks, the show will go straight to series.
The creative team behind the cerebral genre romp share a heft of TV experience. Creator of The Librarian franchise David Titcher, House creator David Shore and House writer-producer David Hoselton concocted the idea, and are developing the show. All three are set to executive produce, with Titcher and Hoselton on scripting duties.
Here’s an overview of the series as described by Deadline:
In Houdini and Doyle, two of the great characters of the twentieth century – Harry Houdini, master magician, escape artist and paranormal debunker – and Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the greatest detective of all time, and paranormal aficionado – grudgingly join forces to investigate crimes with a supernatural slant. Although they’re both rich, famous, and brilliant, they’re the original odd couple — Houdini believing in nothing, Doyle in everything.
The odd couple scenario aside (as it’s been done to death on the big and small screen), the prospect of venturing back to the era of Houdini and Doyle is an attractive one. Between the two, there’s a wealth of bizarre nooks and antiquated areas of interest that will appeal to a widespread audience. Plus, supernatural crime procedurals – The CW’s Supernatural, which to be fair walks a line between serial and procedural, and Warehouse 13 to name but two – continue to attract viewers. Throw in the real-life historical element and this one’s a surefire winner.