For cable series, the run is often not a sprint but a marathon, and FX’s freshman drama Tyrant proved that in a major way. The cable network has given a 13-episode renewal to the Middle East-based political family series, increasing the order from 10 episodes in Season 1. Filming on Season 2 will begin next spring for a summer launch.
While Tyrant’s Live+Same Day series premiere ratings were not spectacular — 2.1 million total viewers and 775,000 adults 18-49 — the series proved to be DVR friendly and, most of all, incredibly consistent. Its adults 18-49 audience average for the first half of the season was identical to the second half. On a weekly basis, Tyrant averaged 5.1 million total viewers and 2.3 million adults 18-49 inclusive of linear, time-shifted and non-linear viewing (data through eight weeks). The series, from Homeland’s Howard Gordon, had to tackle an initial controversy surrounding its subject matter as well as logistical issues later on when production had to move from Israel to Istanbul because of the Gaza military conflict.
“We’re so proud of Tyrant’s performance throughout its first season,” said FX’s Nick Grad. “Howard Gordon’s ability to combine intelligent, edge-of-your-seat storytelling with events from the current geopolitical climate is truly groundbreaking.”
Tyrant tells the story of an unassuming American family drawn into the inner workings of a turbulent fictional Middle Eastern nation. Bassam “Barry” Al-Fayeed, the younger son of the dictator of a war-torn nation, ends a self-imposed 20-year exile to return to his homeland, accompanied by his American wife and children, for his nephew’s wedding. Barry’s reluctant homecoming leads to a dramatic clash of cultures as he is thrown back into the familial and national politics of his youth. The cast includes Adam Rayner, Jennifer Finnigan, Ashraf Barhom, Moran Atias, Noah Silver, Anne Winters, Fares Fares, Salim Daw, Justin Kirk, Mehdi Dehbi, and Alice Krige.
Tyrant, from Fox 21 and FX Prods., was created by Gideon Raff. It was developed by Gordon & Craig Wright. Glenn Gordon Caron, Peter Noah, Michael Lehmann, and Avi Nir also serve as executive producers along with Chris Keyser as consulting producer and Chris Levinson as co-executive producer. Gordon serves as executive producer and showrunner.