EXCLUSIVE: One of the world’s greatest inventors of all time, Thomas Edison, is the leading man of a new period crime drama project in the works at NBC. Titled Edison, the drama is produced by Sony Pictures TV and Mark Johnson’s Gran Via Prods. Written by Daniel C. Connolly (A&E’s Longmire), it is described as a big, fun, genre-driven show about young Thomas Alva Edison. John Shiban (Breaking Bad, Hell On Wheels), who worked on the Johnson-produced Breaking Bad, is overseeing the script for the project, set in 1880s Manhattan.

In the show’s fictional storyline, Edison, already America’s greatest inventor, works as a secret consultant to the under-trained and under-equipped New York Police force. Edison, aka the original Tony Stark, uses his inventor instincts and retro-cool devices to deconstruct crime scenes and pioneer new technology. The period show is expected to have a modern sensibility, energy and tone evocative of the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes films. Connolly, Shibian, Johnson and Gran Via’s Melissa Bernstein are executive producing.

Among Edison’s many inventions that have had great impact on our lives are the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the electric light bulb. He is not the only famous inventor whose early years are the subject of a TV drama: Starz has the upcoming series Da Vinci Demons, about young Leonardo da Vinci. Connolly is with UTA.