Pilot Episode of The Walking Dead Star Tom Payne’s New Show Prodigal Son Released Online

FOX has made the pilot episode of new crime drama Prodigal Son, starring former The Walking Dead star Tom Payne, available to stream on YouTube for free for a limited time ahead of its Monday, Sep. 23 network television premiere. The pilot episode is available to view in full until Sunday, Sep. 15.

From Emmy Award-nominated executive producer Greg Berlanti (Arrow), executive producer Sarah Schechter (Riverdale) and executive producers/writers Chris Fedak (Chuck) and Sam Sklaver (Deception), Prodigal Son is described as “a fresh take on a crime franchise with a provocative and outrageous lead character and a darkly comedic tone.”

Per its official synopsis:

MALCOLM BRIGHT (Payne) has a gift. He knows how killers think and how their minds work. Why? Back in the 1990s, his father was one of the worst, a notorious serial killer called “The Surgeon.” So it makes sense Bright is the best criminal psychologist around; murder is the family business. He will use his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve crimes and stop killers, all while dealing with a manipulative mother, annoyingly normal sister, a homicidal father still looking to bond with his prodigal son, and his own constantly evolving neuroses.

Meet the happy family. DR. MARTIN WHITLY (Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Michael Sheen, “Masters of Sex,” “Frost/Nixon”) is intelligent, wealthy, charismatic and also happens to be a predatory sociopath who killed at least 23 people. Bright’s mother, JESSICA WHITLY (Bellamy Young, “Scandal,” “Criminal Minds”), an elegant and WASPy New Yorker, wields sarcasm like a samurai sword and has an opinion on every aspect of Bright’s life. Perhaps Bright’s only ally is his sister, AINSLEY WHITLY (Halston Sage, THE ORVILLE), a TV journalist who wishes her brother would “take a break from murder” and have a normal life.

Unfortunately for his sister, the only way Bright feels normal is by solving cases with the help of his longtime mentor, NYPD Detective GIL ARROYO (Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Lou Diamond Phillips, “Longmire,” “Stand and Deliver”). Arroyo’s one of the best detectives around, and he expects no less from his team – Detective DANI POWELL (Aurora Perrineau, “The Carmichael Show,” “Jem and the Holograms”), a headstrong no-nonsense cop who quickly becomes impressed with Bright’s work; and Detective JT TARMEL (Frank Harts, “Master of None,” “Billions”), a born-and-bred New Yorker who questions whether Bright is a psychopath himself.

So much for normal.

“I followed many different avenues — one in particular was the podcast Happy Face, concerning the daughter of a serial killer and her journey into her father's deeds and how she deals with them,” Payne told TV Insider when asked how he researched the role of a criminal psychologist born to a serial killer father.


In filming the pilot directed by Lee Toland Krieger (You, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Payne was told, “’Don’t be afraid to go there,’” he said. “The character has been through a lot, and that has manifested itself in a number of ways.”

Prodigal Son premieres Monday, Sep. 23 at 9/8c on FOX.