EXCLUSIVE: David Schulner has signed a new rich two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Universal Television. Schulner is the creator/executive producer/showrunner of the Universal TV-produced Jekyll & Hyde-esque medical drama pilot Do No Harm. The NBC pilot, starring Steven Pasquale as a brilliant neurosurgeon wrestling with his dangerous alter-ego that threatens to wreak havoc on his personal and professional life, has been garnering strong early buzz.
This marks the second pilot order for Schulner who burst into the scene in 2007 when his high-concept spec The Oaks, which sparked a bidding frenzy, ultimately landing at Fox with a series commitment and a seven-figure penalty. But the project, about the intertwined stories of three families living in the same house during different periods, became a victim of the writers strike, with neither Schulner nor Shawn Ryan, who came on board as showrunner, able to attend the pilot shoot which started on the first day of the strike.
Schulner began his tenure at Universal TV (them UMS) with stints as co-executive producer on drama series Kings and Trauma, leading to his first overall deal with the studio in 2010. Under it, he worked as a co-executive producer on The Event and developed Do No Harm. “David has been a great asset on many of our shows throughout the years,” Universal TV EVP Bela Bajaria said. “This year, he created Do No Harm — a high-concept pilot with a lead break-out character. He is an exquisite writer and we are excited to continue our relationship with him.” This marks the latest in a string of new overall deals and renewals of key writers and producers over the last few weeks by Universal TV, which is looking to rebuild itself as a major studio. UTA-repped Schulner’s past series cerdits also include HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me and ABC’s Desperate Housewives.