‘A Tale of Two Cities’ Series Adaptation in Development at ABC (EXCLUSIVE)

ABC is developing a one-hour drama series based on the Charles Dickens novel “A Tale of Two Cities,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Titled “Two Cities,” the series is described as a modern update of Dickens’ novel set against the backdrop of a society on the verge of revolution, where the tensions between the haves and have-nots has reached a breaking point. At the center of the story is Lucy Manette, who’s rehabilitating a stricken father she’s only just met while caught between two men she loves for different reasons.

Eyal Podell and Jonathon Stewart will write and executive produce. Mandeville TV will produce in association with ABC Studios.

Podell and Stewart most recently contributed to the original story for “Cars 3.” They also sold a pitch for a drama about a minister who reveals he is gay last season, also at ABC. Prior to that, their feature script “Seuss” landed them one of the top spots on the 2012 Black List. Both men have also worked as actors in their careers, with Podell having appeared in shows such as “The Young and the Restless,” “24,” “JAG,” and “The West Wing,” as well as films like “Behind Enemy Lines.” Stewart appeared in the 2002 comedy film “The Sweetest Thing” and wrote and co-directed the short “Doing Time.”

Podell and Stewart are repped by Verve, Industry Entertainment and attorneys James Feldman and Josh Sandler.

This is the latest book to be put into development as a broadcast series this season. Previously, CBS announced they were developing a series based on James Ellroy’s “LA Confidential,” while Fox is developing a drama based on the book “In the Country We Love” by “Orange Is the New Black” star Diane Guerrero.  Other book-to-series projects include an adaptation of Caleb Carr’s “Surrender, New York.” 

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