American Horror Story has proved to be a television phenomenon – playing a large part in the popular resurgence of the anthology series format. That being the case, it is no surprise that creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have developed a spinoff show – this one entitled, American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson.
Based on the bestselling book, The Run Of His Life: The People v O.J. Simpson, the series will be 10 episodes in length, and will view the former professional footballer’s trial from the perspective of the opposing lawyers and their teams – navigating the behind-the-scenes wranglings of the proceedings under international media scrutiny. The show will aim to demonstrate how the jury came to have enough reasonable doubt to acquit the accused.
The trial itself was a dramatic event that gripped the world in 1995, as a jury deliberated charges against O.J. Simpson regarding the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. David Schwimmer will play the late Robert Kardashian, who was Simpson’s close friend and lawyer, and who remained by his side throughout the proceedings. He joins Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire) as Simpson, and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story) as prosecutor Marcia Clark. The first two episodes of the series will be written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (The People Vs Larry Flint), with creator Ryan Murphy directing.
The spinoff anthology series is intended to spend each season dramatizing a real American crime, and as such, is kick-starting its first season with one of the most notorious in history. From the moment police cars began their nationally televised low-speed pursuit of Simpson’s white car, the investigation was barely off the air, and has consequently often been cited as the advent of the 24 hour news cycle.
Though the concept of American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson may sound a little ‘movie of the week’, it is the American Horror Story cache of the series creators that has undoubtedly attracted so many notable names to the cast – something that will hopefully bring as high a level of quality to the project as it did for American Horror Story.
Production is likely to get under way early in 2015, so we can expect to come to a final verdict later that year.