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Joshua Jackson To Star In Ryan Murphy Series For ABC

EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Murphy is quickly expanding his footprint on ABC. The network has given a straight-to-series order to Murphy’s Dr. Odyssey with Joshua Jackson (Dr. Death, Fatal Attraction) set to play the lead and executive produce. The drama, targeted for a fall launch, hails from 20th Television in association with Ryan Murphy Television.

As is the case with any Ryan Murphy series, no details about the premise are being revealed. As the title suggests, Dr. Odyssey is believed to be a medical procedural. According to sources, it is set on a cruise ship. That was the setting for this season’s disaster-themed opener of Murphy’s procedural 9-1-1 in its debut on ABC, and it also harkens back to TV classic The Love Boat.

Jackson is said to be playing the title character whose charms help him get what he wants.

Dr. Odyssey is written and executive produced by Murphy, Jon Robin Baitz and Joe Baken. The latter two have collaborated with the prolific creator, writer and director on various projects including American Horror Stories and Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans; the rio is also working together on the upcoming Kim Kardashian legal drama and horror series Grotesquerie.

Frequent Murphy collaborator Paris Barclay is attached to Dr. Odyssey as director and executive producer. Barclay has earned multiple Emmy nominations for his work with Murphy, including most recently for Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, and previously for the Fox musical Glee.

Eric Paquette, Alexis Martin Woodall, Eric Kovtun, Scott Robertson and Nissa Diederich also executive produce.

This marks the first new ABC series order for Murphy since the award-winning showrunner reunited with Disney Entertainment co-chairman Dana Walden last year when he returned to his previous studio home at 20th Television, now an ABC sibling and part of Disney TV Studios.

Murphy’s first ABC series overall, 9-1-1, which moved the network after six seasons on Fox, got to a strong ratings start with the Season 7 premiere amassing 8.85M viewers after three days of viewing across ABC, Hulu and other digital platforms.

Known for serialized hits such as Nip/Tuck, Glee, Monster as well as American Horror Story and its offshoots, Murphy has been interested in the classic procedural storytelling and has been looking to expand his presence in the genre beyond his first effort, the hit 9-1-1 first responder franchise, which also includes 9-1-1: Lone Star, headed into its fifth season on Fox.

A medical procedural for ABC would be a natural next step for him. The close-ended storytelling has also been gaining ground on streaming. Murphy’s first greenlit series since his return from Netflix to 20th TV was a legal drama for Hulu starring Kardashian, described as a high-end, glossy and sexy adult procedural.

He also recently announced Grotesquerie, a new horror series for FX starring Niecy Nash-Betts, Courtney B. Vance and Lesley Manville.

At Disney, Murphy also has AHS: Delicate starring Kardashian and Emma Roberts, whose second part debuts April 3, and the upcoming Gladiator: American Sports Story, starring Josh Andrés Rivera as Aaron Hernandez — both for FX.

At Netflix, he has second season of horror drama The Watcher and anthology series Monsters: The Lyle and Erik Menendez Story focusing on the titular brothers convicted of murdering their parents in 1996. He is repped by CAA and Paul Hastings.

Jackson is coming off the Paramount+ Original Series Fatal Attraction, based on the 1987 film of the same name. Working opposite Lizzy Caplan, Jackson portrayed Dan Gallagher, a character played in the film by Michael Douglas. Before that, he portrayed real-life serial killer Dr. Christopher Duntsch in the Peacock anthology series Dr. Death.

He is best known for portraying Pacey Witter in the teen drama Dawson’s Creek which ran from 1998 to 2003. Additional small screen credits include Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere, Netflix’s When They See Us, Showtime’s The Affair and Fox’s Fringe.

Up next, he will star in the Sony Pictures feature film Karate Kid. Jackson is repped by CAA, Anonymous Content and  Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman.

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