FX orders ‘Tyrant’ to series

“Tyrant,” a drama that’s had a more newsworthy-than-usual development process, has been ordered to series by FX.

Produced by Howard Gordon (“Homeland,” “24”), Gideon Raff (creator of Israel’s “Prisoners of War,” on which “Homeland” was based) and Craig Wright (“Six Feet Under”), “Tyrant” tells the story of Bassam “Barry” Al Fayeed (played by British actor Adam Rayner), son of the dictator of a war-torn Middle Eastern country who returns from a self-imposed 20 year exile with his American wife and children, and immediately gets caught up in all the old conflicts again.

FX won a bidding war for Raff’s pilot script a year ago. Then, in what seemed an enormous coup, they got Ang Lee to agree to direct the pilot. But Lee pulled out before filming began, claiming he needed a break after spending four years making and promoting “Life of Pi.” He was replaced by “Harry Potter” veteran David Yates.

Besides Rayner, the cast includes Jennifer Finnigan, Ashraf Barhom, Moran Atias, Noah Silver, Anne Winters, Fares Fares, Salim Daw, Justin Kirk, Jordana Spiro, Mehdi Dehbi, and Alice Krige.

Production will begin in March in Tel Aviv, and the series will debut next summer on FX.