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New Television Programs Draw Upon Prior Genre as Inspiration: Do No Harm and Bates Motel

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Two new genre television series begin this year that draw upon older material for inspiration. One is Do No Harm, an NBC program that demonstrates our ongoing fascination with Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde story. The Facebook page for the program provides this description:

Dr. Jason Cole is a highly respected neurosurgeon who has it all – a lucrative career, confident charm, and the gift of compassion. But he also has a deep, dark secret. One morning, when he wakes up disoriented in a wrecked hotel room amidst several near-naked women he’s never seen before, he knows one thing: it’s happening again.

Every night at the same hour, something inside Jason changes, leaving him almost unrecognizable – seductive, devious, borderline sociopathic. This new man is his dangerous alternate personality who goes by the name of ‘Ian Price’. For years as he’s battled Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), Jason has been able to keep Ian in check with a powerful experimental sedative. But now his – their – body has developed a resistance to the serum, setting Ian free once again. And to make matters worse, after being suppressed for so long, Ian’s hell-bent on taking revenge on his oppressor.

With everyone Jason cares about at risk – patients, friends, coworkers and even the woman he loves – he’s got to stop Ian once and for all. Will they find some common ground, or will they bring each other down?

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The second program is Bates Motel from A&E. This is not so much a prequel that takes viewers into the life of Psycho‘s Norman Bates prior to the murder of his mother and her lover, but rather a program that draws upon Hitchcock’s film as inspiration and a basic foundation for an exploration of Bates’ psyche and his relationship with his mother. The Facebook page provides this brief description:

“Bates Motel,” inspired by Hitchcock’s genre-defining film, “Psycho,” is a contemporary exploration of the formative years of Norman Bates’ relationship with his mother, Norma, and the world they inhabit. Viewers will have access to the dark, twisted backstory and learn firsthand how Norma helped forge the most famous serial killer of them all. “Bates Motel” will premiere on A&E in 2013.

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