John Ridley Signs Overall Deal With ABC Studios

John Ridley Headshot - P 2014
AP Images

John Ridley Headshot - P 2014

ABC is extending its relationship with John Ridley.

The Oscar-winning scribe behind 12 Years a Slave — who has ABC drama American Crime due midseason — has inked an overall deal with the studio.

ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee made the announcement Tuesday during his time at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour.

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"He's an extraordinary showrunner," Lee said after announcing the minutes-old deal.  

American Crime, starring Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman, will examine the personal lives of the players involved in a racially charged trial as their worlds are turned upside down. Ridley will pen the script, executive produce and direct the project alongside former ABC Studios head of drama-turned-producer Michael McDonald.

The ABC Studios project marks Ridley's return to TV and comes three years after HBO passed on his boxing drama, Da Brick, and five years after The Wanda Sykes Show ended its run. Ridley, whose small-screen credits also include the Barbershop TV series and Third Watch, is said to have landed the directing gig after executives watched his Jimi Hendrix biopic Jimi: All Is by My Side, which he wrote and directed. Ridley's small-screen directing credits include episodes of Barbershop and Platinum.

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