EXCLUSIVE: Tony Yazbeck is set for a key recurring role opposite Josh Andrés Rivera, Lindsay Mendez and Patrick Schwarzenegger in Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology American Sports Story, Deadline has learned.
American Sports Story, a new extension of Murphy’s “American Story” franchise, is a scripted anthological limited series focusing on a prominent event involving a sports figure and re-examines it through the prism of today’s world, telling that story from multiple perspective.
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The first installment, written by Stu Zicherman, is based on the podcast Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc from the Boston Globe and Wondery. It charts the rise and fall of NFL superstar Aaron Hernandez, played by Rivera, and explores the connections of the disparate strands of his identity, his family, his career, his suicide, and their legacy in sports and American culture. Schwarzenegger portrays Hernandez’s friend, former college teammate and fellow former NFL star Tim Tebow. Mendez plays Tanya Singleton, Aaron’s cousin and favorite relative.
Yazbeck will portray Urban Meyer, head coach of the University of Florida, whose desire to win football games eclipses the promises he makes to the students who come to play for him.
FX and studio 20th Television would not comment on the casting.
Zicherman is executive producing with Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall and Brad Falchuk. Hernan Lopez and Marshall Lewy of Wondery executive produce alongside Linda Pizutti Henry and Ira Napoliello of the Boston Globe.
Yazbeck, a Tony Award nominee for On The Town, most recently starred on Broadway in Flying Over Sunset. On television he recurred on Billions and Smash and appeared in the final season of The Good Fight. He’s repped by Gersh and Gartner Group Entertainment.
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