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Smulders will take over the role of conservative pundit Ann Coulter in the limited series, which is due to premiere on Sept. 7. She replaces Betty Gilpin (GLOW), who had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts brought on by the pandemic.
“It was another COVID disappointment,” Gilpin said during a June appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “It was just one of those things.”
Smulders most recently starred in ABC’s Stumptown, which the broadcast network renewed, then canceled after the 2019-20 season. The former How I Met Your Mother star has played SHIELD Agent Maria Hill in multiple Marvel films; her credits also include Netflix’s Friends From College and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Coulter rose to fame during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, arguing for removing the president in her 1998 book High Crimes and Misdemeanors. She has been a fixture on cable news and the conservative speaking circuit ever since.
Impeachment, the third installment of American Crime Story, boasts an A-list cast that includes Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky, Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, Clive Owen as Bill Clinton, Edie Falco as Hillary Clinton, Annaleigh Ashford as Paula Jones and Billy Eichner as Matt Drudge.
Lewinsky is a producer, which is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President. American Crime Story executive producer Ryan Murphy optioned the book in 2017 for adaptation, then later had second thoughts about telling Lewinsky’s story. That changed when she came aboard as a producer.
Sarah Burgess adapted the book and executive produces with Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall, Hannah Fidell, Paulson and Feldstein.
FX had initially intended to debut the series before the 2020 election, but the pandemic pushed the date back by a year.
Variety first reported Smulders’ casting.
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