Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son Information

Prodigal Son is an American crime drama television series, created by Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver for the Fox Broadcasting Company, that premiered on September 23, 2019. In October 2019, the series was picked up for a full season of 22 episodes.


The series centers on Malcolm Bright, whose father, Dr. Martin Whitly, is the infamous serial killer known as "The Surgeon". As a child, Malcolm was responsible for enabling the police to arrest his father, and has not (of his own volition) seen his father in ten years. Now a profiler, formerly with the FBI (until he was fired) and currently working with the New York City Police Department, Malcolm is forced to confront his father after a copycat serial killer uses Dr. Whitly's methods of killing. He now finds himself drawn back into constant contact with his father as he must both use Dr. Whitly's insights to help the police solve particularly horrible crimes and battle his own inner demons.


  • Tom Payne as Malcolm Bright (formerly known as Malcolm Whitly), a disgraced former FBI profiler who now works for the NYPD. He possesses the unique ability to view crimes from the perspective of the killer, allowing him to pick up on things that other cops might miss. However, this gift also haunts him, causing him to live in a perpetual state of fear that he will one day succumb to the same sociopathic tendencies as his father.
  • Lou Diamond Phillips as Gil Arroyo, a lieutenant in the NYPD. He was the arresting officer of Dr. Martin Whitley, and, since then, has acted as a surrogate father to his son, Malcolm; Gil hires Malcolm as his new consultant after he is fired from the FBI.
  • Halston Sage as Ainsley Whitly, Malcolm's ambitious, younger sister; a reporter.
  • Aurora Perrineau as Det. Dani Powell, an officer under Arroyo's command who is sympathetic to Malcolm's personal issues.
  • Frank Harts as Det. JT Tarmel, an officer under Arroyo's command.
  • Keiko Agena as Dr. Edrisa Tanaka, an NYPD medical examiner.
  • Bellamy Young as Jessica Whitly, Malcolm's mother and a successful businesswoman who suffers from alcoholism as a coping mechanism for her husband's crimes.
  • Michael Sheen as Dr. Martin Whitly, Malcolm's father who is currently incarcerated in an asylum after committing twenty-three murders as "The Surgeon".



On January 28, 2019, it was announced that Fox had given the production a pilot order. The pilot was written by Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver, who executive produces alongside Lee Toland Krieger, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. Production companies involved with the pilot include Berlanti Production and Warner Bros. Television.On March 12, 2019 it was announced that Lee Toland Krieger would be directing the series. On May 9, 2019, it was announced that the production had been given a series order. A day after that, it was announced that the series would premiere in the fall of 2019 and air on Mondays at 9:00 P.M. The series debuted on September 23, 2019. On October 7, 2019, the series was picked up for a full season of 22 episodes.


In February 2019, it was announced that Lou Diamond Phillips, Aurora Perrineau and Frank Harts had been cast in the pilot's lead roles. Alongside the pilot's order announcement, in March 2019, it was reported that Michael Sheen, Bellamy Young, Finn Jones, Keiko Agena and Halston Sage had joined the cast. Four days later, on March 12, it was announced that Tom Payne would replace Jones in the role during first table readings.


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|ShortSummary    = Fired from the FBI for insubordination and antagonizing his colleagues, Malcolm Bright is hired as a consultant by his old friend, NYPD Lieutenant Gil Arroyo. On his first case, Malcolm discovers similarities between the killer and his father, Dr. Martin Whitly, an incarcerated serial killer known as "The Surgeon". This causes him to suffer night terrors and panic attacks as he finds himself reliving the events leading up to his father's arrest. Against the advice of Gil and his long-suffering mother Jessica, Malcolm visits his father for the first time in ten years for help identifying the killer, who he determines was one of his patients. Faced with the threat of his son abandoning him for good, Dr. Whitly names the killer as wealthy developer Carter Berkhead. Berkhead takes his wife and a cop, Det. Dani Powell, hostage, and an overwhelmed Malcolm offers to trade his life for theirs, distracting Berkhead long enough for Gil to shoot him. Afterwards, Gil tells his officers the truth of Malcolm's identity and asks them to have faith in him.
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|ProdCode        = T88.10102
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|ShortSummary    = Gil invites Malcolm to consult on a new case involving the poisoning of several family members; snakes found in the body of the dead patriarch points to an estranged son who tries to kill Malcolm with snake venom, which triggers a new memory of Dr. Whitley using chloroform on his son when he discovers an unconscious woman in a locked chest. Ainsley discovers that her brother has been visiting their father. Malcolm goes to see Dr. Whitley, and warns him that he will uncover the truth behind his missing memories. When the suspect is reported dead from suicide, Gil gives his team a few hours to prove Malcolm's theory that he was framed. Malcolm and Dani visit the family lawyer, who admits that he was an illegitimate child rejected by the patriarch and so took revenge by killing his family. He then poisons himself and his wife and daughters, but the cops are able to reverse the poisonings. Dani takes an inebriated Malcolm home that night and helps him into bed. Dr. Whitley's guard at the asylum secretly contacts Jessica, revealing that she has been keeping tabs on her son's visits.
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|Viewers         = 3.66
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On May 13, 2019, Fox released the first official trailer for the series.


Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 60% approval rating with an average rating of 6.58/10, based on 20 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Though it shows promise, Prodigal Son sidelines a spectacular Michael Sheen in favor of a more pedestrian procedural storyline that often drifts too deeply into the grotesque." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 59 out of 100 based on 11 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".



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| title3 = Fear Response | date3 = October 7, 2019 | rs3 = 0.9/4 | viewers3 = 3.66 | dvr3 = | dvrv3 = | total3 = | totalv3 = }}

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