American Horror Story fans are gearing up for the Lady Gaga-led season 5 (a.k.a. AHS: Hotel), which premieres October 2015. However, AHS co-creator Ryan Murphy is expanding his anthology storytelling to a new genre in 2016 with American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson – a show which has Murphy and AHS co-creator Brad Falchuk serving in an executive producer capacity.
As its subtitle indicates, the new show will tackle the ubiquitous mid-1990s murder trial that centered on former athlete and actor O.J. Simpson. Considered by many to be among the most publicized criminal trial in American history, the case carried on for eight months, concluding with Simpson’s acquittal.
FX has now released a new teaser for its upcoming dramatization of the O.J. Simpson trial, which premieres next February. Although no footage is featured, we are treated to title cards of various members of the show’s ensemble cast, including John Travolta, American Horror Story cast member Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance (Flashforward, State of Affairs) and Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (who will play Simpson himself in the 10-episode series).
American Crime Story is clearly intended to be another ongoing anthology series, and the decision to start with such a high-profile case is certainly a smart one, as it instantly strikes a chord with anyone who was inundated with its media coverage as the time the trial went on. Moreover, the casting appears to be spot-on all-around, with Gooding in place to deliver one of his best performances in years as Simpson.
True crime dramas are also on the rise, it seems, and it will be impressive if American Crime Story co-creators Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski – screenwriters of such true story-based movies as The People vs. Larry Flynt, Man on the Moon, and Big Eyes – along with Murphy and his collaborators are able to craft a successful anthology program here, too. The anthology format has become more popular of late (see also True Detective and Fargo), and Murphy will do his part to keep the trend going with his slate of shows – including, the upcoming horror/comedy series Scream Queens.
A drama series centering on the O.J. Simpson trial — if handled right — could turn into as much of a ratings sensation as the real trial deal did back in 1994, as well as a major awards contender. Only time will tell if the American Crime Story production itself matches the potential inherent in the story and the promises of its casting (as well as those working behind the camera).
Will you checking out American Crime Story when it airs next year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson premieres on FX in February 2016.