With the violence in Gaza showing no signs of subsiding and the US Department of State today warning Americans against traveling to Israel and the Gaza Strip, Fox 21 has made a decision to finish the first season order of its FX series Tyrant in Turkey, where the series relocated on a temporary basis a week ago when the conflict started. The show did some filming in Istanbul during the past week with the hope that production could return to Tel Aviv where Tyrant had built elaborate sets. With the death toll rising and a cease-fire still out of reach, that possibility has been ruled out due to safety precautions, with the show set to film the remainder of the last two episodes in Turkey. The writers used the past week to rewrite the last two scripts to account for the location change and lack of sets. Fox 21 moved the Tyrant production to Israel after filming the pilot in Morocco.
Another drama filming in Israel, USA’s limited series DIG, recently extended its planned hiatus by week while the network and producers explore alternatives and discuss them with the project’s insurance company should the situation remain too dangerous to film. A final decision has not been made. DIG only has shot the first of its six-episode order. CBS’ biblical miniseries The Dovekeepers also originally eyed shooting there before deciding to go elsewhere, ultimately settling on Malta.
In September, Fox 21′s Showtime series Homeland moved third-season scenes that … Read More »
“This is an adopted child for me,” Howard Gordon told TV critics this afternoon about FX‘s controversial drama series Tyrant. “I’m the midwife… it came to me and this is what it is.”
Gordon came to TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 to discuss the series that debuted last month. He was joined onstage by representatives of various groups that have blasted, to varying degrees, the series. They came to discuss the ways in which they have complained about the series and the degree to which they have effected change. According to a network spokesman, some of the people onstage participated in a three-hour conversation with Gordon and others involved with the program which was a “very educational experience.” Their leader seemed to be Cynthia P Schneider, who co-directs the Los Angeles-based Muslims On Screen and Television, and teaches at Georgetown University. Read More »
Leslie Hope has booked a recurring role on FX’s Tyrant from Homeland executive producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff and Six Feet Under alum Craig Wright. It tells the story of an unassuming American family — Barry (Adam Rayner); his strong, smart and idealistic wife Molly (Jennifer Finnigan); and their kids Emma (Anne Winters) and Sammy (Noah Silver) — drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle East nation. Hope, repped by Domain and manager Perry Zimel, will play Lea Exley in the final three episodes of the season. Hope can currently be seen in Guillermo del Toro‘s The Strain, also on FX, and will next be seen in del Toro’s feature Crimson Peak. Hope’s many previous TV series credits include The River for ABC and the first season of Fox’s 24.
Raymond J. Barry (Training Day) is set as a recurring on the CW’s The 100. Set 97 years after a nuclear war destroyed civilization, it revolves around 100 juvenile delinquents sent back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing the planet. Barry will play Dante Wallace, a passionate painter and leader. Barry is represented by Bob McGowan and Tom Markley at Metropolitan Talent Agency.
With 2 more episodes left to shoot from Tyrant‘s 10-episode first-season order, production on the FX drama was moved from Israel to Turkey yesterday amid escalating violence in the Gaza strip. The move is temporary, and I hear the hope is to return to Jerusalem where Tyrant has built expensive sets but the situation is evaluated day by day, with the safety of the cast and crew a top priority. Another drama filming in Israel, USA’s limited series DIG, just extended its planned hiatus by week while the network and producers explore alternatives and discuss them with the project’s insurance company should the situation remain too dangerous to film. DIG only has shot the first of its six-episode order.
By today, the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza had killed 186 — all of them Palestinians — with at least 1,390 wounded, according to Palestinian health authorities. The death toll has now surpassed the number killed in Gaza during the 2012 war. There is a cease-fire proposal on the table which the Israeli government is willing to consider while Hamas has dismissed it as a “joke.” Fox 21 moved the Tyrant production to Israel after filming the pilot in Morocco. Last September, the studio’s Showtime series Homeland moved third-season scenes that were planned to be shot in Israel to Morocco over concerns about the situation in Syria. With production on all three series impacted due to the constant flareups of violence in the region, it would be harder for US … Read More »
FX has laid out summer premiere dates for four new series and a returning drama, and sister channel FXX announced the launch date for a veteran comedy’s swan song. FX’s Middle East-set series Tyrant, which stars Adam Rayner as the son of a dictator of a war-torn country who returns to his homeland after a self-imposed 20-year exile, will premiere at 10 PM June 24. FX’s high-profile vampire drama The Strain from EP Carlton Cuse and Guillermo del Toro premieres July 13. And the new FX comedies Married and You’re The Worst will bow back-to-back on July 17. As for returning shows, the second season of FX’s The Bridge kicks off July 9, and the fourth and final season of FXX’s comedy Wilfred arrives June 25.
FXX’s ‘Legit’ & FX’s ‘Chozen’ Cancelled
Summer Premiere Dates For New And Returning Series
Diane 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 much 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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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 story of an unassuming American family — Barry (Adam Rayner); his strong, smart and idealistic wife Molly (Finnigan); and their kids Emma (Anne Winters) and Sammy (Noah Silver) — drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle East nation. David Yates is directing the pilot, which begins filming next week in Morocco. Gordon, Raff and Wright executive produce in association with Keshet Broadcasting. The Fox 21-produced project has a big commitment at FX and is expected to go to series. Finnigan, repped by ICM Partners and manager John Carrabino, recently starred on the TNT drama Monday Mornings.
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 Wright. Created by Raff, developed by Gordon and Wright and to be directed by David Yates, FX’s Tyrant tells the story of an unassuming American family — Barry (Rayner), Molly and their kids — drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle East nation. Gordon, Raff and Wright executive produce in association with Keshet Broadcasting. The Fox 21-produced project, which will film the pilot in Morocco, has a big commitment at FX and is expected to go to series. Rayner, repped by Paula Rosenberg, Innovative Artists and attorney Jamie Feldman, recently played the title role in the Simon West-directed pilot The Saint. He also co-starred opposite Melissa George on the Cinemax/BBC spy drama Hunted.
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 unassuming American family — Barry, Molly and their kids — drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle East nation. Kirk, repped by UTA, Management 360 and attorney PJ Shapiro. will play a sexy, decadent and mysterious American diplomat with a hidden agenda. Deen will play Nusrat, the young bride of Ahmad.
Related: David Yates To Direct FX Drama Pilot ‘Tyrant’
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 »
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 »
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 Wright. Yates replaces Ang Lee, who originally committed to Tyrant but pulled out last month for personal reasons. Created by Raff and developed by Gordon and Wright, Tyrant tells the story of an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation. Gordon, Raff and Wright executive produce in association with Keshet Broadcasting. The Fox 21-produced project, which will film the pilot in Morocco, has a big commitment at FX and is expected to go to series. On the TV side, Brit Yates directed the acclaimed British miniseries State Of Play, which was made into a Hollywood movie starring Russell Crowe, and the HBO film The Girl In The Cafe, which earned him an Emmy nomination. He is with CAA, Jenne Casarotto in the UK, and attorney Alan Hergott.
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 the most brilliant ideas for a series that I’ve seen and one about which I was very excited.
However, after spending over four years making and promoting Life Of Pi, I have recently realized that I need some rest .
Because I cannot give 100% to this exciting project at this time, I cannot allow myself to do anything that may affect the potential for this exciting new series.
I wish FOX 21 and FX the best with this remarkable project.
EXCLUSIVE 2:50 PM: Oscar-winning director Ang Lee has pulled out of directing high-profile FX drama pilot Tyrant, from Homeland executive producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff and Six Feet Under alum Craig Wright. Lee committed to Tyrant shortly after winning a second directing Oscar (and third overall) for Life Of Pi. But after 4 1/2 years devoted to making Life Of Pi, a year to promote it and another six months of Oscar campaigning, I hear Lee felt he didn’t have gas left in the tank. Additionally, he had made other previous commitments including his current role as a juror at the Cannes Film Festival. I hear Lee called Gordon this morning from Cannes. In a very emotional … Read More »
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, which recently tapped Oscar winner Ang Lee as director, and The Strain, based on Guillermo del Toro’s books, which he said “will reinvent the vampire horror genre.” Both have full writing staffs in place and are working on first-season scripts in anticipation of series pickups. Tyrant hails from Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff & Craig Wright; Strain from del Toro and Carlton Cuse.
Related: FX Officially Unveils FXX Channel To Launch In September
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 »
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 »