Crime show fans are definitely going to love Prodigal Son, the new drama series from Fox. It’s a fresh take on a crime drama slightly reminiscent of Hannibal, Mindhunter, and Criminal Minds. Though Fox itself promises a “darkly comedic tone” that’s significantly absent from those three TV shows.
Prodigal Son first began production with a pilot order in late January 2019. A little over three months later in May, it was given the green light with a series order and subsequently announced that Fox would premiere the show in the fall 2019 TV schedule. And on October 7, 2019, after Prodigal Son premiered as the number one new program of its premiere week, it was announced that Fox is handing the freshman drama a full-season order. Meaning that Prodigal Son season 1 will consist of 22 episodes, each episode running for a little under an hour.
The production companies involved with the pilot and series are Berlanti Production and Warner Bros. Television. With that, its writers and creators are Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver. Who also executive produce alongside Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Lee Toland Krieger, the pilot’s director.
What’s the story?
Prodigal Son follows Malcolm Bright, a young but brilliant criminal psychologist and profiler who has made a notable career out of hunting murderers.
Formerly with the FBI, he’s now been commissioned to work with the NYPD to assist with finding a murder who’s copycatting a notorious serial killer, “The Surgeon”. What most of his new colleagues don’t know, however, is that “The Surgeon”, a.k.a. Dr. Martin Whitly, is Malcolm’s very own father. Yikes! If that ain’t a heavy burden to carry, then nothing is.
Malcolm reunites with his father, who’s now, thankfully, still in prison. And in the process is forced to deal with his mother, sister, and his very own demons.
You might be wondering, “Why is he the prodigal son, though?” The trailer does drop some pretty solid hints at an explanation.
Dr. Whitly seems to have a yearning to bond with his son and right before he’s thrown in jail, leaves this little nightmare of a gem for his son to live with his whole life: “We’re the same”. After watching the trailer, viewers are left wondering the same as Malcolm: did Dr. Whitly orchestrate the copycat murders to bring his son back to him? Only time will tell!
Who will we see on Prodigal Son?
The prodigal son himself, Malcolm Bright, will be played by Tom Payne fresh off his departure from The Walking Dead. (Also, funnily enough, on TWD his character’s name was Jesus and now he’s the prodigal son…what a coincidence!). “The Surgeon” will be played none other than Michael Sheen (Good Omens, Frost/Nixon), who already does a spectacular job in the trailer alone.
Other main cast members are Lou Diamond Phillips (Longmire) as Gil Arroyo, the NYPD detective who asked Malcolm to help out on the copycat killer case. As well as Halston Sage (The Orville) as Ainsley Whitly, Malcolm’s “annoyingly normal”, TV journalist sister. And Bellamy Young (Scandal) as their mother, Jessica Whitly.
We’ll also be seeing Aurora Perrineau (When They See Us), Frank Harts (The Path), and Keiko Agena (13 Reasons Why).
This new crime drama will definitely speak to all crime show fans out there! But what’s interesting about this upcoming Fox series is that it might also be interesting to those who love a good, juicy family drama. Don’t believe me? Just check out the first look video Fox recently released and see for yourself.
Prodigal Son debuted on September 23, 2019, and airs every Monday at 9/8 central.