ABC Developing ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ Adaptation

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A Tale of Two Cities, one of the signature works of Charles Dickens, is receiving a one-hour drama series. The project is under development at ABC.

The adaptation will drop most of the novel’s name and instead be entitled Two Cities, according to Variety. ABC has announced that the series will focus on providing a modern context for the novel, illustrating a society in which revolution foments, and where tensions between the privileged and the less-fortunate are on the rise. (Novel readers will recognize these as the “haves” and the “have-nots.”) Lucy Manette, a young woman sits in the midst of all of this, trying to choose between two differently appealing men while also caring for a sickly father she’s only just met.

In addition to ABC, the production of Two Cities will be handled by Mandeville TV, with Eyal Podell and Jonathon Steward (no, not THAT Jon Stewart) serving each as writers and executive producers.

Podell and Stewart have worked together on quite a few projects in the past, the most noteworthy of which was Pixar’s Cars 3, to which they contributed the original story. They have also pitched a few other series, such as one drama about a minister who struggles with the revelation that he is gay, also at ABC. Each of the men has also previously acted, with credits between them ranging from The Young and the Restless, 24, JAG, The West Wing, and The Sweetest Thing. Perhaps finding success in this project will help them launch some of their other ideas off the ground.

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In the era of prestige drama, a Dickens adaptation is a rare beast. Not many works of literature tend to find their way to the small screen in such a manner anymore. Is this something that you can see yourself getting excited for, or has the age of Dickens passed?


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