Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Network primetime seems especially determined to make a high-concept dual-personality drama work. The most recent example of a noble failure was NBC’s Awake. But NBC in particular seems undaunted and is wading back into those waters with the midseason drama Do No Harm, starring Steven Pasquale of FX’s Rescue Me as a renowned neurosurgeon whose body is “overtaken” every night by a “dangerous alternate personality.” When asked early in an afternoon TCA session what makes Do No Harm different than the handful of similarly themed hours that have come before, creator and exec producer David Schulner reasoned that the concept is classic and time-tested going back to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. “I think ultimately you can only write the show that you want to watch,” Schulner said, “and this was a show that I wanted to see on TV. I wanted it to be fun. I wanted it to be thrilling. I wanted it to be a roller-coaster ride. And I wanted it to have stakes. I also wanted there to be a love story at the center of it. Hopefully those ingredients will make it different than what has come before.”
Pasquale noted that the attempt to establish the dual-personality conceit is so strong from the Do No Harm team that it even has separate chairs on set for each of Pasquale’s characters. Schulner assured, “I took lessons from (those earlier dual-personality shows), and this is a show you’re going to want to watch. It’s thrilling and fun. That’s the big difference.” Time will tell. You can watch a trailer below: