Fox has bought America’s Son, a drama from writer Paul Redford, Amblin TV and Sony Pictures TV. Described as part juicy soap, part paranoid political thriller set in Washington DC, America’s Son is a sophisticated contemporary spin on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. When a beloved presidential hopeful dies in a tragic car wreck, a renegade JFK Jr. type returns home to D.C. to discover his father’s death was no accident — and he makes it his mission to untangle a complicated web of family secrets, expose the truth and ultimately avenge the murder. Redford has background in both dramas about the inner working of Washington DC — he spent five seasons on The West Wing, which he joined after the pilot — and soaps — he did a stint as a co-executive producer on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money.
Redford is executive producing America’s Son, which has received a script commitment with penalty, with DreamWorks/Amblin TV’s co-presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey. (Steven Spielberg is reverting to the name Amblin TV for his TV company. While existing series Smash and Falling Skies will continue under the DreamWorks TV moniker, the rest of the company’s current shows and all upcoming ones will be branded Amblin TV.)
This is the second drama project this season that draws inspiration from a Shakespeare tale. McG is producing Westside, a Byron Balasco-written soap for ABC that is a contemporary take on Romeo & Juliet and the musical it inspired, West Side Story. Redford most recently reunited with West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin, working as a co-executive producer on his new HBO drama The Newsroom. This is Amblin TV’s second sale this week — the company also set up drama Embrace, based on Jessica Shirvington’s supernatural young adult novel, at the CW.