Pilot Starring The Walking Dead’s Tom Payne Picked Up to Series

Prodigal Son, the new crime drama series starring former Walking Dead star Tom Payne, has been picked up to series by Fox network, Deadline reports.

Backed by Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions (The CW’s The Flash, Riverdale), Prodigal Son stars Payne as Malcolm Bright, a celebrated criminal psychologist and the son of a notorious serial killer nicknamed “The Surgeon” (Michael Sheen).

Per the one-hour drama’s logline:

A fresh take on a crime franchise with a provocative and outrageous lead character and a darkly comedic tone. Malcolm Bright knows how killers think. Why? His father was one of the best, a notorious serial killer called “The Surgeon.” That’s why Bright is the best criminal psychologist around; murder is the family business. He uses his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve crimes, while dealing with a somewhat manipulative mother, an annoyingly normal sister, a homicidal father still looking to bond with his prodigal son and his own constantly evolving neuroses.


Joining Payne and Sheen are Lou Diamond Phillips (Longmire), Bellamy Young (Scandal), Aurora Perrineau (Into the Dark), Halston Sage (The Orville), Keiko Agena (Better Call Saul), and Frank Harts (The Path). Payne earlier replaced Finn Jones (Iron Fist, Game of Thrones) in the lead role.

Payne has since debuted a fresh look, doing away with his bearded and long-haired Jesus look following the end of his tenure with the zombie drama after three seasons.

Prodigal Son Fox
(Photo: Fox)

The decision for Payne to exit midway through Season 9, struck down as the first victim of new enemy group the Whisperers, was a mutual one. After Payne aired his frustrations over Jesus being underserved in his time as the fan-favorite comic book character, Payne later clarified he never “talked sh-t” about The Walking Dead.

“It was a little bit of a gulp moment for me,” Payne told Huffington Post of a widespread Hollywood Reporter piece that was “very fair” but resulted in misunderstanding.

“I’ve never talked sh-t about the show because I wouldn’t. I don’t have anything to say badly about the show.”

Payne added he helped bring those frustrations on himself “because I’m just very invested in everything I do, and I want it to be the best that it can be. I’m always working behind the scenes, and I didn’t get to utilize everything in the way I would’ve liked.”

Fox also picked up John Slattery-led AI drama neXt, Stephen Dorff police drama Deputy, and Sisters from Annie Weisman and Jason Katims.

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