The CIA’s controversial mind-control program is getting a miniseries treatment at ABC. The network has put in development MKUltra, a historical mini from writer Karen Stillman and ABC Studios’ boutique division ABC Signature. The project tells the story of MKUltra, the CIA’s top-secret research project on the behavioral engineering of humans. The program, which was carried on through the 1950s and ’60s, has come under fire for its use of unwitting U.S. and Canadian citizens as test subjects in experiments that involved the use of drugs (most famously LSD) as tools for interrogation or mind control. The scope of techniques used to manipulate people also included hypnosis, sensory deprivation, sexual and verbal abuse and torture.
Stillman recently wrote on another Cold War CIA miniseries for ABC, The Assets. In addition to MKUltra, she is penning Debt, a drama series adaptation of the book that satirizes the 2008 financial meltdown, for ABC Family, ABC Signature and Ellen Pompeo’s production company Calamity Jane. Stillman is with ICM Partners, the Shuman Co. and attorney Jonathan Shikora.