FX and Ryan Murphy are expanding the American Horror Story franchise with another anthology series, this time focused on some of the biggest true crime stories. Fittingly, the new series, American Crime Story, is launching with one of the most famous cases of the past few decades: the murder trial of O.J. Simpson. FX has given a 10-episode, straight-to-series order to American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson.
Based on the book The Run of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, the first American Crime Story installment will be directed by Murphy from a script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (The People Vs. Larry Flynt).
Murphy and fellow AHS co-creator/executive producer Brad Falchuk executive produce along with Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson (The Hunger Games) as well as Alexander & Karaszewski and Dante Di Loreto. Filming begins early next year in Los Angeles. FXP and Fox 21, the cable division of 20th Century Fox TV where Ryan is based, are producing.
“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,” said FX Networks CEO 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.”
American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson is a look at the 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 black community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.
“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,” Murphy said. “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.”
Like AHS, each season of ACS will tackle a different true crime story. The newest installment in the AHS franchise, American Horror Story: Freak Show, premieres tomorrow night.
“When Ryan has passion for a project, our entire company is energized by his enthusiasm and spectacular talent,” said Fox Television Group chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman who used the famous moniker of Simpson’s defense team when describing the subspecies of The People vs. O.J. Simpson. “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.”
Murphy, repped by CAA and attorney Craig Emmanuel, is coming off a best TV movie Emmy win for his HBO movie The Normal Heart. Jacobson and Simpson are repped by CAA; Alexander and Karaszewski are repped by CAA and attorney Christine Cuddy of Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo; and Falchuk is repped by WME and Gendler & Kelly.
The rights for Toobin’s book were repped by ICM Partners.