FX's 'Tyrant' Renewed for Season Three

The Middle Eastern drama will return with a 10-episode run in 2016.
Kata Vermes/FX
FX's 'Tyrant'

FX is ordering more Tyrant.

The network has renewed the Middle East-set series for a third season. The family political drama will return in 2016 with a 10-episode run, down two from its sophomore run. The drama, which stars Adam Rayner, Jennifer Finnigan, Ashraf Barhom and Moran Atias, recently wrapped its sophomore run with an average of 2.47 million total viewers and 1 million adults 18-49 when factoring in seven days of DVR.

In a cover story last year, THR revealed the turmoil behind the scenes of the ambitious Howard Gordon-run series, including a director switch (Ang Lee was initially on board), set relocations (from Morocco to Israel — and again, in season two, from Israel to Budapest) and creator Gideon Raff's departure.

When the drama made its debut in midsummer, it endured critical backlash before a single frame aired because of the sensitive subject matter. But Gordon insists the show has been well-received within the Arab community. "The response from groups of dissidents and people who were either jailed in Egypt or fled Syria or are still in Egypt has been extremely positive," he told THR ahead of the show's season-two opener.

Adding to the early criticism was a violent rape scene in the pilot, a creative decision Gordon stands by. "I know it was a nonstarter for a lot of people, and I know that it turned a lot of viewers away right at the outset," he said, acknowledging also that he thought the criticism was fair. "But I think it’s unfortunate that their assessment of the show began and ended there because this show has so much more to offer and is so much more than that moment."

Working in Tyrant's renewal favor is the fact that the pricy drama is produced by corporate sibling Fox 21. FX topper John Landgraf previously told reporters his formula for determining a renewal: "I and my team get one vote, [critics] and the other experts get one vote, and the audience gets one vote. Two votes gets a show picked up, but we overrule a 2:1 vote against us for a time if we believe either the audience or the experts will come around based on the quality of the show," he said.

The latter may be the case with Tyrant. “Tyrant’s second season took the show to a new level, thanks to the skill and direction of Howard, Chris [Keyser] and Glenn [Gordon Caron] and their creative team, the exceptional cast and a story steeped in family, loyalty and intrigue,” said FX's original-programming president, Eric Schrier. “We look forward to the next chapter and a sensational third season of Tyrant.”

For FX, Tyrant joins a roster of originals including Fargo, American Horror Story, American Crime Story, The Americans, The Bastard Executioner, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, The Strain and more. The status of Kurt Sutter's freshman entry Bastard Executioner, meanwhile, remains undetermined.