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FX is getting oppressive with its next series, and that’s a very good thing. The network has given a full-season order to Tyrant, an hour-long drama series from the producers of Showtime’s Homeland, Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff.
The show — which has yet to go into production, but it slated to begin shooting in Tel Aviv in March — is scheduled to air next summer, making this early order a huge vote of confidence for the viability of the series. As of now, only the pilot has been shot. Hence the availability of first look image above.
But that hasn’t stopped the FX Network’s CEO, John Landgraf, from spouting off predictions regarding Tyrant’s future hold on the television playing field; even going as far as calling the series groundbreaking.
“With Tyrant, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright have produced a beautiful television pilot that will be a groundbreaking television series,” Landgraf explained. “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!”
And that brave new world it’s showcasing? One that highlights the ramifications of tyrannical rule in the Middle East, as told through the unwitting eyes of an American family. Starring an ensemble cast featuring 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, Tyrant focuses its gaze upon an unassuming American family, forced into the precarious and perilous machinations of a war-torn nation. Their father — Bassam “Barry” Al Fayeed — is the youngest son of the dictator running the show, has returned to his homeland following a 20-year exile of his own making. When he and his young family head to the country for Barry’s nephew’s wedding, a heated and dramatic clash unfurls, and Barry and its family and thrust into the chaotic culture clash of the familial and national politics of his younger days.
If reading into the pedigree behind the pilot — which was written by Raff — is your thing, fans of Six Feet Under and Lost will be pleased to find out that Craig Wright will be developing the series alongside Raff and Gordon. Acclaimed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows director David Yates directed the pilot.
The stiff competition that surrounded the series when it was pitched a year ago, the 10-episode order for Tyrant is a vote of confidence rarely given to series on the FX Network. Only in recent memory — with Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story and the upcoming Guillermo Del Toro shocker The Strain — has FX ever given an order to a project based on the pitch/spec script alone.
“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,” stated 20th TV chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman in a statement further fueling the hype machine’s fire. So no pressure or anything, Tyrant, but we're expecting big things from you now.