John Ridley’s Racially Charged Drama Heading To ABC

John Ridley isn’t a name that one would recognize as a household name, but come oscar season you may be hearing a lot from him given that he wrote the script for the magnificent 12 Years A Slave. Now it looks like Ridley has a new and possibly controversial project on his hands for network television.

It’s being reported that Ridley was hired to write and executive produce a drama series for ABC called American Crime. The show seems pretty controversial as it centers around stories with racial-charged motives in murder cases, and the trials that ensue based on the brutal crimes committed. So far sources say that the television show is more than likely to have an ensemble rather than one actor or actress in a lead role.

The series is said to deal with race, gender politics, and class. We have to wonder if the series is going to address the Trayvon Martin case, as it’s been one of the most culturally relevant cases to circulate through the media.

According to Deadline, the official synopsis of American Crime is as follows:

“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.”

So far there’s no word on what season the pilot will be for but we’re thinking it will be picked up for 2014 – 2015 season.

Aside from ABC’s American Crime, Ridley seems to have his hands in every form of entertainment. Besides 12 Years A Slave, Ridley has been hired by MGM to write a reboot of the classic 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ, which was originally penned by Lew Wallace.

If that’s not enough John Ridley also penned and directed the highly anticipated biopic of Jimi Hendrix, which stars Andre Benjamin as a fully transformed Hendrix. The biopic is titled All Is By My Side.

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