9:30am PT by Lacey Rose
'Homeland' Producers Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff Sell Middle East Drama to FX
Homeland's Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff are set to reunite.
After a three-way cable bidding war, FX has landed their latest drama pilot, Tyrant, which revolves around an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation.
Raff, who created and single-handedly wrote every episode of Hatufim, the Israeli series that inspired Homeland, created the concept for Tyrant, which Gordon and Craig Wright (Six Feet Under, Lost) developed for U.S. TV.
Raff already has penned the pilot script, which is set up at Teakwood Lane, Gordon's 20th Century Fox Television-based production company. Gordon, Raff and Wright are attached as executive producers on the effort, in association with Israel's Keshet Broadcasting. If Tyrant is ordered to series, Wright would serve as the showrunner. Production is tentatively slated to begin in the spring.
"The brilliant and wholly original concept just blew us all away,” said Nick Grad, FX's executive VP original programming. "It’s pretty amazing when you read a script and can instantly imagine it becoming one of the best shows on television. We’re grateful to the producers for choosing to bring it to FX and look forward to continuing our partnership with our friends at Fox 21.
FX, which passed on Homeland some two years earlier, is said to have been particularly aggressive with its offer.
Added Fox 21 president Bert Salke: “Tyrant is exactly the type of project we aim to do at Fox 21: working with extremely talented writer-creators to create provocative material with big, breakout characters and themes. This script has excited everyone who’s read it, and it’s particularly gratifying to be back working with FX, with whom we have had such a successful partnership on the fantastic Sons of Anarchy.”
The move caps off a particularly strong selling season for Gordon, who launched his now-prolific Teakwood Lane in late July. Within two months, his critically beloved Homeland had swept all of the major categories at the Emmys and had returned to Showtime with record ratings. More recently, the former 24 showrunner has sold five broadcast projects, two of which have him reteaming with other fellow Homeland executive producers.
Gordon and co-creator Alex Gansa are developing a drama for CBS entitled Anatomy of Violence, about a female FBI agent who starts working with a mysterious psychiatrist with whom she shares a past connection. If ultimately ordered to series, Gordon will serve as the showrunner. At NBC, he’s at work with Homeland exec producer Alex Cary on a legal drama called Ritter, an adaptation of an Icelandic hit.
Additionally, he has been paired with Invasion’s Shaun Cassidy for a family adventure drama set up at Fox, with Chronicle’s Max Landis for a vigilante drama at Fox and with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ Josh Friedman for a futuristic thriller at NBC. He has the Sean Bean starrer Legends in development at TNT.
Gordon, Raff, Wright and Keshet are all repped by WME. Wright, who counts current MTV series Underemployed as well as United States of Tara, Dirty Sexy Money and Brothers & Sisters among his small-screen credits, is additionally repped by Ziffren Brittenham.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose