No longer content to terrify FX viewers with tales of American horror, Ryan Murphy will now turn his attentions to gripping tales of American crime.
FX announced on Tuesday that it has ordered the first season of Murphy's new anthology series “American Crime Story,” with the initial installment titled “American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson.”
Based on “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson” by Jeffrey Toobin, the first two installments of “American Crime Story” will be written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.
If any of this sounds vaguely familiar to you, it probably should. In March 20, FOX announced that it was developing “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson” and “Shogun” under the network's ambitious slate of long-form event series. At the time, both projects were merely in development, but both were under the FX Productions banner. Ryan Murphy was not involved at the time.
It has now become a full-on Murphy joint, with Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Dante Di Loreto executive producing along with carry-overs Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson.
“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,'” blurbs John Landgraf. “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.”
Adds Murphy, “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.”
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Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman state, “When Ryan has passion for a project, our entire company is energized by his enthusiasm and spectacular talent. Nothing is more exciting than starting a juicy, new franchise with him, and the team behind-the-scenes is top-notch – a ‘dream team” that rivals any ever assembled.”
FX sources say that the “Shogun” project has not migrated over with The Juice.
All sides insist that this shift is more about compatibility with Murphy's previously-in-development “American Crime Story” brand and not a sign that FOX's push into the one-off limited series realm has abated. That push began with last summer's reasonably successful “24: Live Another Day.” “Gracepoint” premiered last week to soft numbers, while “Wayward Pines” has been set for a yet-to-be-determined midseason slot.
I also checked into the status of the Civil War drama “Blood Brothers,” adapted by “Band of Brothers” veteran Bruce McKenna, which was initially announced concurrently with “Wayward Pines” and while I received no update there, a FOX spokesperson says that a number of event series projects remain in various stages of development at the network.
Are you psyched for Ryan Murphy's take on The Simpson Trial?