December 11, 2013 2:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Howard Gordon's 'Tyrant' Lands Series Order at FX
As expected, FX is moving forward with Tyrant, the drama from Homeland producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff.
The network announced Wednesday that it has ordered the drama about an American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation to series, scheduling it for summer 2014.
Tyrant hails from Homeland's Gordon and Raff, as well as Six Feet Under's Craig Wright. FX CEO John Landgraf has been high on the project, telling reporters in March that a writing staff had already been assembled for the drama, with additional scripts already in the works.
The drama, from Fox 21 and FX Productions, was created by Raff and developed by Gordon and Wright and initially had Ang Lee on board to direct (he was later replaced by Harry Potter's David Yates.) Gordon, Raff and Wright executive produce the drama, which also hails from Keshet Broadcasting.
"With Tyrant, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright have produced a beautiful television pilot that will be a groundbreaking television series," Landgraf said. "Tyrant introduces characters and a world that have never been explored in a dramatic television series format. There is a reason a bidding war broke out over this project: It grabs you as all great epics do and simply refuses to let go!"
Tyrant tells the story of an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation. Bassam "Barry" Al Fayeed, the younger son of the dictator of a war-torn nation, ends a self-imposed 20-year exile to return to his homeland, accompanied by his American wife and children, for his nephew's wedding. Barry's reluctant homecoming leads to a dramatic clash of cultures as he is thrown back into the familial and national politics of his youth. Adam Rayner, Jennifer Finnigan, Ashraf Barhom, Moran Atias, Noah Silver, Anne Winters, Fares Fares, Salim Daw, Justin Kirk, Jordana Spiro, Mehdi Dehbi and Alice Krige star.
"This project embodies our studio's guiding principle: get into business with incredible talent and challenge them to swing for the fences," 20th Television chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman said in a joint statement. "Howard, Gideon and Craig, together with our fantastic team at Fox 21, have delivered a remarkable pilot. This is one of the most ambitious series we've ever set out to make and we couldn't be more grateful to John and everyone at FX who believed in its potential since the very first pitch."
Production will begin in March in Tel Aviv after the pilot shoot in Morocco.
Tyrant's series order gives Gordon four shows on the air in 2014. The FX drama will join the fourth season of Showtime's terrorism drama Homeland; TNT's upcoming Sean Bean spy drama Legends and Fox's limited series 24: Live Another Day. All three hail from Gordon's 20th Television-based Teakwood Lane banner.
For FX, Tyrant joins a growing drama slate that includes new entry The Strain, the fourth season of anthology series American Horror Story, The Bridge, Justified, Sons of Anarchy and The Americans.