FX Greenlights Middle-East Drama Tyrant


In one less-than-shocking piece of television news, basic cable network FX has ordered a full first season of Tyrant, a Middle East-set drama from Homeland producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff.

The show will focus on an American family that becomes embroiled in the political atmosphere of a small, war-torn Middle Eastern nation. Bassam al Fayeed (Barry to his friends), the younger son of the nation’s dictator, returns home with his American wife and children for his nephew’s wedding, 20 years after leaving the country to live in America. Upon his arrival, Barry is thrown back into the high-stakes political game that he thought he had left behind forever.

In addition to Gordon and Raff, the drama, from Fox 21 and FX Productions, will be produced by Six Feet Under‘s Craig Wright. Ang Lee (Life of Pi) was originally attached to direct the pilot, though he has since been replaced by David Yates (the Harry Potter franchise). FX CEO John Landraf, an early supporter of the series, had this to say:

With Tyrant, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright have produced a beautiful television pilot that will be a groundbreaking television series. 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!

In a joint statement, 20th Century Fox Television chairmen and CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden added that:

This project embodies our studio’s guiding principle: get into business with incredible talent and challenge them to swing for the fences. 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.

Tyrant is set to star 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.

Cameras will roll next year as the series will film its pilot in Morocco then move to Tel Aviv in March to film the remainder of the season.

Tell us, are you excited for Tyrant? What show on FX next year, new or returning, are you looking forward to the most? Sound off in the comments section!