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Tom Payne Takes Over Lead Role in Fox Pilot ‘Prodigal Son’ From Finn Jones

In a recasting, Tom Payne is now to set to topline the Fox drama pilot “Prodigal Son,” Variety has confirmed.

The role was originally held by Finn Jones. Sources say the decision to recast the role came after the pilot’s first table read. This marks one of the first major recastings of this pilot season. Payne now joins a cast that includes Michael Sheen, Bellamy Young, Lou Diamond Phillips, Aurora Perrineau, and Frank Harts.

Payne is best known for his recent role as Paul “Jesus” Rovia on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” with his character being killed off in the Season 9 midseason finale. His other TV credits include “Luck,” “New Worlds,” and “Waterloo Road.”

He is repped by Paradigm, Curtis Brown Group, Untitled Entertainment, and Felker Toczek.

“Prodigal Son” centers on Malcolm Bright (Payne), an acclaimed criminal psychologist. He knows how killers think, how their minds work. Why? His father (Sheen) was one of the worst — a notorious serial killer called “The Surgeon.” He will use his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve crimes and stop killers, all while dealing with a manipulative mother, annoyingly normal sister, a homicidal father still looking to bond with his prodigal son, and his own constantly evolving neuroses.

“Prodigal Son” hails from writers and executive producers Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver. Fedak most recently created the FBI magician drama “Deception” for ABC, on which Sklaver was a writer and consulting producer. Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schecter will executive produce via Berlanti Productions. Lee Toland Krieger will direct the pilot and executive produce. The pilot will be a co-production between Warner Bros. Television and Fox Entertainment.

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