Hot project penned by Gideon Raff on fast track to series

FX has won the rights to “Tyrant,” ordering to pilot the highly anticipated next project from “Homeland” exec producers Gideon Raff and Howard Gordon.

In a heated battle that saw several networks express interest, FX came out on top despite the fact that Showtime already had Raff and Gordon in its stable.

Craig Wright, who is attached to MTV’s “Underemployed” and was also the creator of ABC’s “Dirty Sexy Money,” will exec produce with Raff and Gordon. The project is on a fast track to a series order, with Wright set to be the showrunner.

Another big winner was WME, which packaged the projects and reps Raff, Gordon and Wright.

Similar to “Homeland,” “Tyrant” has Middle East-related themes. Story revolves around an unassuming American family thrust into the turbulence of that region.

Raff, who created the Israeli series “Prisoners of War” that was the inspiration for “Homeland,” wrote the “Tyrant” pilot. Production is set to begin in the spring.

Show is being produced by Fox 21 and Teakwood Lane, the shingle Gordon has set up at 20th Century Fox.

“The brilliant and wholly original concept just blew us all away,” said Nick Grad, FX’s exec VP of original programming. “It’s pretty amazing when you read a script and can instantly imagine it becoming one of the best shows on television. We’re grateful to the producers for choosing to bring it to FX.”

Fox 21 currently produces both “Homeland” and “Sons of Anarchy,” hits for Showtime and FX, respectively.

FX is set to debut the fourth season of Timothy Olyphant starrer “Justified” on Jan. 8. New series “The Americans,” starring Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as Russian spies living in the U.S. in the 1980s, premieres Jan. 30.

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