FX and Ryan Murphy are reshuffling the order of the upcoming two installments of American Crime Story. The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which is far along into production, will now air as a second season of the anthology series — with a premiere date tentatively slated for early 2018 — followed by Katrina, whose filming has been pushed to early 2018. It is unclear whether all big-name actors who had been locked for Katrina, including Annette Bening, Dennis Quaid and Matthew Broderick, will still be available to do the series on the new timetable. Talks with them are underway.
Katrina, which tells the story of America’s response to the devastating 2005 storm, was picked up first as a followup of the hugely successful The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, 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 in January, FX President John Landgraf announced that Katrina‘s premiere has 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, has to contend with hurricanes and productions can only get insurance at certain times of the year.
Versace has had a dream run. The first script by Tom Rob Smith impressed everyone so much, a decision was made last fall to accelerate production on the limited series as a third installment of American Crime Story. Pre-production, including casting, came together relatively quickly, and production started in April in Miami and Los Angeles.
Ryan Murphy, who directed the premiere episode as he does on all of his series, executive produces The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story with Jacobson, Simpson, Brad Falchuk and Smith. Darren Criss, Edgar Ramirez, Penelope Cruz and Ricky Martin star in the limited series, produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions.
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.