FX will televise revolution


FX is plotting a revolution.

The cable network is developing "AR2," a drama from "Prison Break" creator/exec producer Paul Scheuring and "The West Wing" director/exec producer Thomas Schlamme about a group of Midwestern youths who spark a second American Revolution.

Scheuring calls the project, which is expected to be laid off at Fox 21, " 'Les Miserables' in modern America."

It is set in Michigan, home of the top U.S. automakers, where "corporations undermine the common man and the government is not interested in helping (the common man)," Scheuring said.

Scheuring, who had been tinkering with the idea for a while, took it to Schlamme, an American history buff. "It is an analysis of what is a patriot," Schlamme said of the project.

"AR2" will explore how the revolting college students — as well as the military and the law enforcement officers who oppose them — perceive patriotism.

"AR2" carries a different message than Schlamme's previous politically themed drama, NBC's "The West Wing."

" 'West Wing' in some ways was wish fulfillment, and it looks like to a degree it has become a reality," Schlamme said, referring to the election of Barack Obama. "This one is a cautionary tale, that this is a journey we're on and we have to constantly be aware so it doesn't happen."

"AR2" is a rare venture to cable for Schlamme and Scheuring, who opted to become free agents after long relationships with WBTV and 20th TV, respectively.

"The subject matter could be incendiary, and we were afraid that it may adulterate the message if it went to a broadcast network," Schlamme said.

Schlamme, who still has a housekeeping deal at WBTV, is making a series push in cable through his Shoe Money banner headed by Julie DeJoie.

Scheuring took a step back on Fox's "Prison Break" this season to focus on development and features through his Mercator Pictures, which he operates with partner Matt Fiorello.

Scheuring is repped by Endeavor and attorney David Weber. Schlamme is repped by Endeavor, manager Rosalie Swedlin and attorney Stan Coleman. (partialdiff)