Screenwriter John Ridley attends the Gala Tribute To Ralph Fiennes during the 51st New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on October 9, 2013 in New York City

Screenwriter John Ridley attends the Gala Tribute To Ralph Fiennes during the 51st New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on October 9, 2013 in New York City

*“12 Years a Slave” writer John Ridley is returning to television with another project that takes on racial issues.

ABC has put in development drama “American Crime,” written/executive produced by Ridley and executive produced by former ABC Studios head of drama-turned-producer Michael McDonald through ABC Studios, reports Deadline.com.

Set in California’s Central Valley, “American Crime” centers on a racially charged murder and the subsequent trial, which are examined through the personal lives of the victims, the accused and their families. The case takes on greater meaning in the community, bringing to the forefront America’s hardened views on race, class and gender politics.

Ridley, meanwhile, is in Oscar contention with his script for “12 Years A Slave.” He started in television before focusing primarily on features for the past few years. He was just tapped by MGM to do a rewrite on “Ben-Hur.”