'12 Years a Slave' scribe John Ridley is headed back to his TV roots. Ridley, who started his career in television before focusing on features for the last few years, will executive produce and write, 'American Crime,' for ABC.
Like Ridley's critically-acclaimed '12 Years a Slave,' the new project takes on racial issues. Set in California’s Central Valley, the drama 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. As the case takes on greater meaning in the community, it brings to the forefront America’s hardened views on race, class and gender politics.
ABC Studios drama head Michael McDonald, who helped bring recent successes like 'Nashville,' 'Revenge' and 'Scandal' to the screen, will executive produce alongside Ridley.
Ridley, who is a strong contender for a Best Screenplay Oscar nom, is riding a pretty big ride of success right now. His '12 Years a Slave' recently picked up three Gotham Indepedent Film Award nominations for best film, best actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and breakthrough actor (Lupita Nyong’o), which makes his own Oscar chances that much stronger. In additon to his ABC gig, he was also just recently tapped to rewrite 'Ben-Hur' for MGM.
Ridley's past TV credits include 'Third Watch,' 'Platinum' and 'Martin,' among others.