‘Last Resort’ Duo Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek Find ‘Freedom’

By August 5, 2013

Karl Gadjusek and Shawn Ryan

Though the ABC naval drama “Last Resort” didn’t last more than 13 episodes on primetime, that won’t stop series creators and executive producers Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek from working together on a new drama series. Deadline has word that Ryan and Gajdusek are reteaming for the series “Freedom” from Sony Pictures Television, which has also found a home at ABC.

Ryan’s MiddKidd Productions is based at Sony, so it’s no surprise to find them producing the series. As for the story, it comes from an original idea by Gajdusek who is also writing the script. The series seems to be inspired by headlines as it follows a group of brilliant, eclectic, freethinking Ivy League students who help create a group called “Freedom,” dubbed the next resistance movement to government and corporate powers, taking cues from organizations like Anonymous and WikiLeaks.

Beyond those details, not much else is known, and the project is just coming together, likely in preparation for next year’s fall season. Ryan is a powerful force on the small screen, but with “Last Resort” getting canceled early and “Beverly Hills Cop” not getting picked up by CBS, he’s in a bit of a rough patch. Plus, “The Chicago Code” wasn’t given nearly enough time to blossom into a great crime drama series. Perhaps Freedom and Ryan’s other new series “Mad Dogs” at FX and a mining town drama at HBO will get him back on track.

As for Gajdusek, he’s found success on the big screen having co-written Oblivion with Tom Cruise and also upcoming films November Man with Pierce Brosnan and Last Witness starring Denzel Washington. Hopefully with all the talk of organizations such as Anonymous, Gajdusek can find plenty of inspiration for a thrilling drama based in real-life.

At the very least, Ryan’s shows are never terrible. Even if “Last Resort” never quite found solid footing, it was leaps and bounds better than many other new drama series last fall. Having Ryan involved also gets plenty of great talent on board in front of and behind the camera, so we’ll be keeping our ears to the ground for more details on this new project.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.