EXCLUSIVE: ABC has bought a second high-profile drama project that takes on Robert Louis Stevenson’s split-personality tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Jekyll & Hyde, from ABC Studios, studio-based Mark Gordon Co and feature writer Matt Lopez (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), is described as a suspenseful, darkly romantic retelling of the classic tale with a unique sci-fi twist that I hear may be cloning-related. Set in modern San Francisco, it centers on a female criminal psychologist who is drawn into the mysterious world of a brilliant but inhibited scientist and his volatile alter ego. Going into this development season, ABC brass identified the Jekyll & Hyde lore as one of the areas they wanted to mine. Now the network has two high-profile projects to choose from: the Lopez/Gordon Jekyll & Hyde and the recently sold Hyde, from writer Sheldon Turner. It’s about an ER doctor whose id manifests itself as a different person when he goes to sleep as a result of an experiential medical treatment.
Under new head of drama Nicholas Pepper, the Mark Gordon Co is having one of the busiest development seasons with seven hourlong projects sold so far, six of them to ABC and one, an adaptation of the Gordon-produced feature thriller Source Code, to CBS, where the company has veteran procedural Criminal Minds.