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Walking Dead Star Tom Payne's New Show Is Moving Forward

The Walking Dead Tom Payne AMC

Jesus is risen! Tom Payne booked his first role after Paul "Jesus" Rovia was killed off The Walking Dead, and Fox just made it official. Progidal Son, co-starring Michael Sheen, was one of four drama pilots Fox just ordered to series for the 2019-2020 season. (Meanwhile, my beloved The Passage was cancelled.)

You may recall first hearing about Prodigal Son when Iron Fist star Finn Jones was cast in the lead role of Malcolm Bright. During the read-through, it was agreed that Jones wasn't the right fit for the role, so the part was recast with Tom Payne.

Apparently the chemistry works with British actor Tom Payne, 36, as Malcolm Bright, and Welsh actor Michael Sheen, 50, as his killer father. According to Deadline, the duo drew praise for their acting, especially for Sheen in the showcase role of a notorious serial killer.

Fox shared a logo for Prodigal Son, focusing squarely on Tom Payne's titular son Malcolm Bright:

Prodigal Son logo Fox Tom Payne

Fox also shared a photo of the father and son duo of Tom Payne's Malcolm Bright and Michael Sheen's Dr. Martin Whitly.

Prodigal Son Tom Payne as Malcolm Bright Michael Sheen Dr. Martin Whitly Fox

Red is the signature color of Prodigal Son, it seems.

The one-hour drama also stars Scandal alum Bellamy Young as Jessica Whitly, with Lou Diamond Phillips as a character named Gil Arroyo, plus The Orville's Halston Sage as Ainsley Whitly, Aurora Perrineau as Dani Powell, Frank Harts as JT Tarmel, and Keiko Agena as Edrisa Tanaka.

Here's the logline for Prodigal Son, per Fox:

A fresh take on a crime franchise with a provocative and outrageous lead character and a darkly comedic tone. Malcolm Bright knows how killers think. Why? His father was one of the best, a notorious serial killer called 'The Surgeon.' That’s why Bright is the best criminal psychologist around; murder is the family business. He uses his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve crimes, while dealing with a somewhat manipulative mother, an annoyingly normal sister, a homicidal father still looking to bond with his prodigal son and his own constantly evolving neuroses.

It sounds like an exciting new role for Tom Payne, who is still best known to fans around the world from his two dozen episodes as Jesus on The Walking Dead from 2016 to 2019. Payne wasn't sorry to be written off the show during Season 9, as he explained to CinemaBlend:

[T]hey were kind of aware that I was a bit tired of it. Because, you know, I kind of felt like Jesus for the last couple of years was just kind of holed up at the Hilltop and not really getting to do anything effective. Like I had that great fight with Lenny, but being a comic book reader as well, I was like, 'Well, when's the fight with Negan? And when's the catching the grenade and throwing it back, and when's all this cool stuff?' And none of the cool stuff actually happened. So, I was like, 'Oh, okay.' I mean, I had some cool stuff, but nothing that cool.

Tom Payne was just happy to see Jesus get a good exit in the Season 9 midseason finale. As for when we'll see Payne back on TV screens, we'll have to wait and see. Fox has yet to announce its 2019-2020 premiere dates, but pencil Prodigal Son in for a fall 2019 debut. Keep up with all of the 2019 renewals and cancellations with our handy guide.

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.