John Ridley, writer of the slavery feature 12 Years A Slave, is returning to television with another project that takes on racial issues. ABC has put in development drama American Crime, written/executive produced by Ridley and executive produced by former ABC Studios head of drama-turned-producer Michael McDonald through ABC Studios. Set in California’s Central Valley, American Crime centers on a racially charged murder and the subsequent trial, which are examined through the personal lives of the victims, the accused and their families. The case takes on greater meaning in the community, bringing to the forefront America’s hardened views on race, class and gender politics. Ridley, repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment, is in Oscar contention with his script for 12 Years A Slave, which kicked off the awards season today by leading the Gotham Independent Film Awards nominations. Ridley started in television before focusing primarily on features for the past few years. He was just tapped by MGM to do a rewrite on Ben-Hur.