David Schulner’s ‘Do No Harm’ Pitch: It’s Like ‘House’ Meets ‘Dexter’

by | January 6, 2013 at 6:54 PM | Do No Harm, Midseason 2013

Steven Pasquale in "Do No Harm" (Matthais Clamer/NBC)

Are you a fan of “Dexter“? Did you enjoy “House“? Then you’ll love NBC’s new drama “Do No Harm,” promises executive producer David Schulner.

During a TCA panel for the series in Pasadena, California on Sunday, Schulner explained to reporters how he initially pitched NBC on the show’s concept, which he describes as a “fun, thrilling, roller coaster ride.”

“Honestly I think [my pitch] was, Do you like ‘Dexter’? Do you like ‘House?’ This is ‘House’ meets ‘Dexter,’” he explained.

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“Do No Harm” stars Steven Pasquale as Jason Cole, a Philadelphia-based neurosurgeon with a dark secret: at 8:25 p.m. every night an aggressive, sociopathic alternate personality named Ian Price overtakes him and doesn’t depart until 8:25 a.m. the following morning.

Schulner credits the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel, “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” as the initial inspiration for the series, and admits that he utilized plenty of source material in crafting these two characters. “The quotes in there [the book] are amazing,” he said. “There’s beautiful lines. We tried to incorporate that into the show.”

For Pasquale, juggling the two different distinctly different roles was a challenge, especially because there are no physical markers to denote a personality shift. “Ultimately what we decided is that we didn’t want to do the classic thing where one guy looks like a monster and the other didn’t,” he said. “We wanted there to be a gray area.”

What wasn’t difficult? Deciding which character he preferred. “Ian doesn’t have to say any of that medical sh-t,” he joked. “Neurosurgery [terminology] is no joke, so I’m a little partial to Ian.”

Watch the Pilot Episode of “Do No Harm” Before it Airs on TV:

“Do No Harm” premieres on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 10/9c on NBC.