“I’m confident it will air,” FX Networks/FX Productions CEO John Landgraf told TV critics about American Crime Story‘s Katrina season when asked at TCA if the show will see the light of day. Creator Ryan Murphy has a “great idea for a pivot” and “now it’s in really good shape,” Landgraf told critics on the final day of summer TCA.
Murphy, who is scheduled for a Q&A this afternoon, is “trying to get his ducks in a row to make the announcement… soon,” Landgraf said, though he cautioned the reveal might not happen this afternoon.
In June, it was revealed that FX and Ryan Murphy were reshuffling the order of the upcoming two installments of American Crime Story, with The Assassination of Gianni Versace airing as a second season of the anthology series, followed by Katrina, whose filming has been pushed to early 2018. It was unclear whether all big-name actors who had been locked for Katrina, including Annette Bening, Dennis Quaid and Matthew Broderick, would still be available to do the series on the new timetable.
“It was a big creative pivot we made,” Landgraff acknowledged of the season shuffle, calling it a “difficult decision” made when they were “far along in one creative direction.”
Murphy made the call, he said, adding “we supported” it. The change was made, the exec said, because the bar had been set really high for the franchise after the rating and Emmy success of The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and, Landgraf said, Murphy came up with a “great idea” for a pivot. Landgraf said he would leave it to Murphy to announce but, speaking coyly, assured critics it’s a “really exciting idea” and he’s now more confident in Katrina creatively, calling it “in really good shape.”
Katrina, which tells the story of America’s response to the devastating 2005 storm, was picked up first as a followup to the hugely successful O.J. season of the franchise, from the same team of Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson. It was originally slated to film this spring and debut later this year, with the third installment, Versace, filming almost simultaneously but airing in 2018.
At TCA last January, Landgraf announced Katrina‘s premiere had been moved to 2018, with Versace going into production first but airing within six months after Katrina. Landgraf attributed the Katrina delay to “material,” referring to scripts. Also, filming in New Orleans, where Katrina is set, must contend with hurricanes and productions can only get insurance at certain times of the year.
FX’s first ACS installment The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, received 22 Emmy nominations and won nine Emmys among a slew of awards.