Today it was announced that FX has ordered a 10-episode season of American Crime Story, a spin-off of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story which airs on the same network. Like American Horror Story, American Crime Story will revolve around a different story each season with the first focused on the O.J. Simpson trial. The season will be based on Jeffrey Toobin’s The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson and will be entitled American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.
Toobin’s book became a bestseller after chronicling the behind the scenes of the trial, numerous research and interviews, and the tactics of the defense. Toobin also made it clear in his book that he thought that Simpson was guilty. According to the press release, the show will be told from the lawyers’ point-of-view and “will display 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.”
Murphy also said, “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.” This year marks the 20th anniversary of the trial, so in a sense the series is timely. The trial served as one of the first to be watched nationwide and while it is commonplace today, it was revolutionary when Judge Ito allowed cameras in his courtroom. As Murphy says, the case fascinated the American public and the many angles have made the case relevant to American culture today.
The project is being executive produced by Murphy, Falchuck, and Dante Di Loreto, with Nina Jacobsen and Brad Simpson producing. The first episodes will be written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, known for The People vs. Larry Flint. FX Networks CEO praised the project saying, “it will be a spectacular first entry in what is destined to become a series of great true crime-based miniseries.”