House alum Michael Weston and Episodes co-star Stephen Mangan have been cast in the title roles on Houdini & Doyle, a 10-episode straight-to-series supernatural adventure drama for Fox, the UK’s ITV Encore and Canada’s Shaw Media. Also cast in the series is Canadian actress Rebecca Liddiard (Man Seeking Woman) as Constable Adelaide Stratton, whose character is the first female constable ever to work for the London Metropolitan Police Force.
Weston is reuniting with House creator David Shore and the medical drama’s writer-producer David Hoselton, both of whom serve as executive producers on Houdini & Doyle. Stephen Hopkins has come on board to direct the series, created by Hoselton and Canadian screenwriter David Titcher (The Librarians). Sony TV is distributing.
Inspired by the unlikely real-life friendship between Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and illusionist Harry Houdini, Houdini & Doyle will draw heavily on the history of the period. Two great men of the 20th century – Houdini (Weston), master magician, escape artist and paranormal debunker; and Doyle (Mangan), prolific writer and paranormal aficionado – grudgingly join forces with New Scotland Yard to investigate unsolved and inexplicable crimes with a supernatural slant. The series is slated for a 2016 debut.
“I’ve long been intrigued by both Houdini and Doyle; men who were ahead of their time, each fascinating in their own right. But the idea that these two, seemingly so different, could have been friends is almost too perfect,” said Shore. “In Michael and Stephen, we have found two incredible actors that embody the intelligence, humor and mystique of these men who, even when viewed through the lens of history, are larger than life.”
Weston, who is currently starring opposite Scott Caan in the Falcon Theatre production of The Trouble We Come From, is repped by Silver Lining Entertainment, Paradigm and Attorney James Adams.
English actor Mangan plays one of the leads on the Showtime/BBC Two comedy series Episodes, recently renewed for a fifth and likely final season. He will film Houdini & Doyle before returning to Episodes for Season 5. On stage, he was nominated for a Tony for playing the title role in The Norman Conquests.
Houdini & Doyle is a U.K./Canada Treaty co-production from Big Talk Productions (UK) and Shaftesbury (Canada), in association with Shore Z Productions. Also executive producing are Kenton Allen, Matthew Justice and Luke Alkin for Big Talk Productions; and Christina Jennings, Maggie Murphy and Scott Garvie for Shaftesbury.