Amid awards seasons, a writer from one of the most acclaimed films of the year is going to be given a chance to work his craft again on the small screen.
John Ridley, the writer for ’12 Years a Slave’ who adapted a screenplay from the memoir of Solomon Northup, has seen his pilot offering picked up by ABC. The network has given the green light for ‘American Crime,’ a drama set in California that, like ’12 Years,’ centers on race relations, as well as class roles and gender politics.
The story will focus on a racially-charged murder and the resulting trial, as seen and experienced through the lives of the various characters involved. The case takes over a community, and is assumed to represent where the country is as a whole concerning such polarizing issues.
Ridley will executive produce alongside Michael McDonald, former head of drama with ABC Studios.
Recently, Ridley penned the screenplay for the Jimi Hendrix bio pic ‘All Is By My Side,’ and the adventure ‘Red Tails,’ but had previously worked on television for much of his career. He was the writer for ‘The Wanda Sykes Show,’ ‘Barbershop,’ and ‘Third Watch,’ as well as being a producer on all three shows.
‘American Crime’ joins other ABC drama pilots given orders, including ‘How To Get Away With Murder,’ a sexy, suspenseful legal drama, and ‘Sea of Fire,’ a mystery thriller based on a Dutch drama that the network is attempting to make for the second time.