This year, television networks have attempted – and are in the process of attempting – to spinoff many well-known series. Earlier in the year, Supernatural: Bloodlines and the How I Met Your Mother spinoff, How I Met Your Dad, were not picked up to series. More recently, NCIS launched another spinoff: NCIS: New Orleans. Meanwhile, ABC is working on a spinoff of Castle and AMC continues to move forward on Better Call Saul and the untitled Walking Dead companion.
Now, another spinoff can be added to the list. A day before its season 4 premiere, American Horror Story will receive an anthological companion series from the show’s creator, Ryan Murphy.
The Wrap is reporting Murphy will create a 10-episode first season of American Crime Story, to be subtitled The People v. O.J. Simpson. The season will be based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson and will chronicle the infamous trial. Subsequent seasons will focus on other true crime stories.
Murphy will direct American Crime Story and executive produce along with Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson (The Hunger Games) as well as Brad Falchuk (co-creator of Glee and American Horror Story) and Dante Di Loreto (Glee). The writing team of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Big Eyes) will pen the script for the first two hours of the series and will executive produce as well.
While many other spinoffs in recent memory have failed to excite audiences because they tended to be a rehash of the series on which they were based – a more in-depth discussion of AMC’s spinoffs in particular can be heard on the Screen Rant Underground podcast – American Crime Story seems to take a bit step away from American Horror Story, especially in terms of genre.
American Horror Story has focused on a different horror theme each season, usually centering on a location: a house, an asylum, a witch school, and now a freak show. However, American Crime Story sounds to be a character drama more deeply entrenched in the real world, and pulling from a different crime story each season will provide more concrete ties to reality and recent history.
With Murphy at the helm of American Crime Story, it will likely interest fans of his other work. However, whether the tone of the show will more closely resemble American Horror Story or The Normal Heart – the HBO film directed by Murphy – remains to be seen. Certainly, a more realistic tone could open up American Crime Story to audience members that haven’t been interested in American Horror Story, positioning it to appeal to more people.
American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres October 8th, 2014 @10 p.m. on FX. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information on American Crime Story as it becomes available.
Source: The Wrap
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