Ahead of the season premiere of American Horror Story: Freak Show tomorrow, FX announced today that it has ordered 10 episodes of a companion anthology series from Ryan Murphy, entitled American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.
The project, which had flown largely under the radar until the announcment, will take a similar approach to storytelling as American Horror Story, exploring “one true crime story which made headlines and captivated the imagination of the public” per season. This first installment is described by the official press release as:
“A look at the O.J. Simpson trial told from the perspective of the lawyers that explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution confidence, defense wiliness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.”
For The People v. O.J. Simpson, Murphy will join Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk and Dante Di Loreto as executive-producers. Writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flynt) will script, working from The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, while Murphy is also attached to direct.
Said FX CEO John Landgraf:
“Time and time again, Ryan Murphy has transformed the medium of television by redefining genres and formats as he did with Nip/Tuck, Glee and the American Horror Story franchise, and we expect the same of American Crime Story. Scott and Larry have adapted Jeffrey Toobin’s book into a masterful 10-hour piece. I have no doubt that Ryan and his partners, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, and Dante Di Loreto are going to make something very memorable here – and that it will be a spectacular first entry in what is destined to become a series of great true crime-based miniseries.”
“This is an exciting project for me as I’ve been looking for the right property which could serve as an extension of the American Horror Story brand I love so much. The O.J. case was as tragic as it was fascinating – it seemed like everyone had a stake in the outcome. It was really the beginning of the modern tabloid age.”
Production should kick off in Los Angeles early in 2015, suggesting that Murphy and company are likely aiming to have American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson ready in time to pair it with the fifth season of American Horror Story, which will likely air in October of next year.
At first blush, the project sounds intriguing, gritty and controversial – in other words, it’s exactly the type of show we’ve come to expect from Murphy. The question is, are viewers interested in seeing yet another spin on the O.J. Simpson case, which has been covered exhaustively by the media?