TCA: ‘Tyrant’ Producer To Detractors: “Bring It On!”

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 5:11pm PST

TCADeadline__140109155905Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

During today’s TCA panel on the new FX drama Tyrant, Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff — who executive produce with Craig Wright — compared the story of an American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent fictional Middle Eastern nation to The Godfather. That is, as Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff TCAmuch family drama as political thriller. If there is a larger theme to the series, Gordon said, it is, “What does it mean to be a good man?”

Related: TCA: Lost Ad Revenue Biggest Challenge To TV, Says FX Networks Chief John Landgraf

After the panel, Gordon addressed recent grumblings that the team’s popular Showtime series Homeland may have veered too far in the “family” direction by playing out the story of Brody’s troubled daughter and her disturbed boyfriend. Gordon said he doesn’t see it that way. That story line, he said, was necessary to show the “collateral damage” to the families of the political story. “I just think people got impatient with it,” Gordon added.

Related: Page Out Of ‘24’ Book? ‘Homeland’s Morgan Saylor, Morena Baccarin No Longer Regulars
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FX Drama ‘Tyrant’ From Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, Craig Wright Ordered To Series

By | Wednesday December 11, 2013 @ 2:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Exactly a year after FX landed the tyrantspec for Tyrant in a competitive situation, the cable network has given the drama project from Homeland co-creators Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff and Six Feet Under alum Craig Wright a series order for a minimum of 10 episodes to debut next summer. The series pickup for Tyrant comes on the heels of FX’s series order to Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse’s The Strain. Along with American Horror Story a couple of years ago, Tyrant and The Strain were the only projects to land FX pilot orders off a pitch/spec. HowardGordon_newAll three had such big commitments that a series order was all but certain and all three had received orders for backup scripts in anticipation of a series pickup. Tyrant, produced by Fox 21 and FX Prods., was the riskiest of the three with its Middle Eastern setting. It did hit several bumps along the way — original director Ang Lee exited, with David Yates stepping in. There were questions about where the series would be filmed (It will be shot in Tel Aviv after the pilot was done in Morocco.) I hear FX brass had reservations about the first cut of the pilot but loved the final one. “With Tyrant, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright have produced a beautiful television pilot that will be a groundbreaking television series,” said FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. “Tyrant introduces characters and a world that have never been expfxlogo1lored 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!” Added 20th TV chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman, “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.”

Related: FX’s ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Hits Finale High With Season 6 Ender
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Jennifer Finnigan To Star In FX Pilot ‘Tyrant’

By | Wednesday September 4, 2013 @ 7:12am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Finnigan is set as the female lead in the high-profile FX drama pilot Tyrant, from Homeland executive producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff and Six Feet Under alum Craig Wright. It tells the … Read More »

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Adam Rayner Lands The Lead In Howard Gordon’s Pilot ‘Tyrant’

By | Thursday August 15, 2013 @ 12:33pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: After an extensive search, British actor Adam Rayner has been cast as the lead in the high-profile drama pilot Tyrant, from Homeland executive producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff and Six Feet Under alum Craig … Read More »

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Justin Kirk To Co-Star In FX Pilot ‘Tyrant’

By | Tuesday August 6, 2013 @ 5:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Weeds alum Justin Kirk has been cast in the high-profile FX drama pilot Tyrant, from Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright. Also cast in the project is Sibylla Deen. Tyrant tells the story of an … Read More »

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Pilots ‘Horizon’ & ‘Tyrant’ Add Regulars, HBO’s ‘Girls’ Casts Recurring Player

By | Wednesday July 31, 2013 @ 10:29am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Josh Braaten (Married To The Kellys) has been cast in USA Network‘s drama pilot Horizon, executive produced by Gale Anne Hurd. Set during the height of World War II, Horizon centers on Lauren (Ruth Bradley), a secretary at the FBI who begins a secretive investigation into files that have been stamped with the codename “horizon.” The mysterious project provides links to the presumed death of her husband (Taylor Handley) and the disappearance of a young girl. Braaten, repped by APA, Trademark Talent and Jackoway-Tyerman, will play Joe McNeil, a newly single father who helplessly watches as his daughter mysteriously disappears — seemingly taken by an unseen force. The only person who believes his story at the FBI is Lauren.

Salim Daw been cast in the high-profile FX drama pilot Tyrant, from Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright. Tyrant tells the story of an unassuming American family — Barry, Molly and their kids — drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation. Daw will play Yussef, the cunning and savvy adviser and closest confident to dictator Khalid Al-Fahed. Read More »

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Shannyn Sossamon Joins Fox’s ‘Wayward Pines’, Ashraf Barhom Cast In FX’s ‘Tyrant’

By | Friday July 26, 2013 @ 9:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Shannyn Sossamon (Mistresses) is set to co-star opposite Matt Dillon in the Fox event series Wayward Pines, from M. Night Shyamalan. Based on a best-selling novel, Wayward Pines is an intense, mind-bending thriller about Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Dillon), who arrives in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID, on a mission to find two missing federal agents. But instead of answers, Ethan’s investigation only turns up more questions as he faces the terrifying reality that he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive. Sossamon, repped by APA and Oren Segal, will play Theresa Burke, Ethan’s wife. Theresa, who met Ethan when she was a trainee in the Secret Service, left the Service to raise their son Ben. Sossamon joins Carla Gugino, Terrence Howard, Toby Jones and Melissa Leo in the cast. She recently wrapped The Jesuit. Read More »

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FX Pilot ‘Tyrant’ Casts Duo

By | Thursday July 25, 2013 @ 9:12am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Mehdi Dehbi and Moran Atias have been cast in the high-profile FX drama pilot Tyrant, from Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig … Read More »

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David Yates To Direct FX Drama Pilot ‘Tyrant’

By | Wednesday June 12, 2013 @ 3:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter movies, has signed on to helm high-profile FX drama pilot Tyrant, from Homeland executive producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff and Six Feet Under alum Craig … Read More »

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Ang Lee Departs FX Pilot ‘Tyrant’

By | Monday May 20, 2013 @ 4:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 4:15 PM: Here is Ang Lee’s statement about his departure from Tyrant.

It is with disappointment that I must confirm I have withdrawn from my commitment to direct the upcoming FX pilot Tyrant.

It is one of

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FX Renews ‘Justified’ For Fifth Season, Touts Pilots ‘Tyrant’ & ‘The Strain’

By | Thursday March 28, 2013 @ 6:19am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

FX president John Landgraf made the announcement at FX’s upfront presentation in New York this morning. Season 5 of the award-winning drama Justified will debut in January 2014. Additionally, Landgraf showcased high-profile drama pilots Tyrant, … Read More »

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Ang Lee To Direct FX Pilot ‘Tyrant’ From Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff & Craig Wright

By | Thursday March 14, 2013 @ 11:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

On the heels of winning his second directing Oscar for Life Of Pi, Ang Lee will make his television directorial debut with FX‘s high-profile drama pilot Tyrant, from Homeland executive producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff and Six Feet Under alum Craig Wright. This represents a major coup for FX and Tyrant producers Fox 21 and FX Prods as Lee had been approached numerous times for pilots, but this is the first one he has committed to. In addition to directing, Lee is executive producing Tyrant, his first project following Life Of Pi. It tells the story of an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation. The series was created by Raff and developed by Gordon and Wright. Raff wrote the pilot, which comes from Gordon’s 20th TV-based company Teakwood Lane. “Ang Lee has demonstrated time and again an ability to present characters with such depth and specificity that they reveal the universal human condition,” said FX president John Landgraf. “No one could be a more perfect film maker to bring Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, and Craig Wright’s Tyrant to indelible life.”

Gordon, Raff and Wright also executive produce in association with Keshet Broadcasting. If Tyrant goes to series, Wright will serve as showrunner. With a huge commitment and A-list creative auspices, Tyrant already was fully expected to go to series, something Landgraf alluded to in January. (Backup scripts had already been commissioned.) Lee’s arrival likely sealed the deal. “The fact that the brilliant Ang Lee has signed on to direct his first project for television speaks to the extraordinary nature of Tyrant,” said Fox 21 president Bert Salke. Production of Tyrant is tentatively slated to begin this summer. Read More »

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FX Orders Drama Pilot From ‘Homeland’s Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff, Craig Wright

By | Monday December 10, 2012 @ 9:30am PST
Nellie Andreeva

FX has given a pilot order to Tyrant, a drama from Homeland executive producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff, Six Feet Under alum Craig Wright and 20th Century Fox TV’s Fox 21. Tyrant, casually referred to as “reverse Homeland“, was created by Raff, creator of the Israeli drama Prisoners Of War on which Showtime’s Homeland was based. Tyrant, developed by Gordon and Wright, tells the story of an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation. Raff wrote the pilot script, which hails from Teakwood Lane, Gordon’s 20th TV-based production company. “The brilliant and wholly original concept just blew us all away,” FX’s EVP Nick Grad said. “It’s pretty amazing when you read a script and can instantly imagine it becoming one of the best shows on television.”

Gordon, Raff and Wright are executive producing in association with Keshet Broadcasting, the Israeli company behind Prisoners Of War, which also co-produces Homeland. Wright is set to serve as showrunner if Tyrant goes to series. For Wright, the project stems from the overall deal he inked with Fox 21 in August. Production on the pilot is tentatively slated to begin in spring 2013. Read More »

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