Mark Harmon Developing Young William Shakespeare Drama for CW (Exclusive)

Mark Harmon - H 2014
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Mark Harmon - H 2014

The CW may be looking for a young William Shakespeare.

The youth-skewing network is teaming with NCIS star Mark Harmon to develop Shakespeare's Sisters, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Described as a tale of black magic, romance and revenge, the drama is set in 1590s London and chronicles a young Will Shakespeare's rise to prominence as he finds himself caught in a deadly conflict among three witches and the most powerful woman in the world, Queen Elizabeth. The project is described as having the grit of HBO's hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones with the wit and heart of Shakespeare in Love.

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Scott Sullivan (NCIS: Los Angeles, King & Maxwell) will pen the script for CBS Television Studios. Harmon and Eric and Kim Tannenbaum's Harmon Tannenbaum Co. are attached to produce. Jane the Virgin helmer Brad Silberling, fresh off his overall deal with the studio, will also executive produce and direct. Sullivan will serve as a co-executive producer.

For Harmon, Shakespeare's Sisters comes as the actor continues to push into producing. This year, he teamed with NCIS creator Gary Glasberg for CBS' NCIS: New Orleans. The project also brings Harmon back into The CW fold where he exec produced period time-travel musical Joey Dakota with the Tannenbaums in 2012.

Shakespeare's Sisters comes as the network has found modest success with period drama Reign, which tells the story of a teenage Mary Queen of Scots' rise to power. The pilot for the series, currently in its second season, was directed by Silberling.

This development season, The CW also is exploring the 20-something years of Charles Darwin and his journey through the Amazon with Unnatural Selection.

Harmon is with Paradigm and Barry Axelrod; Sullivan is with Paradigm, Doug Draizin and Valla Mcleroy; the Tannenbaums are with CAA and Jeffrey S. Finkelstein; Silberling is with UTA, Mosaic and Hansen Jacobson.

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