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The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story hasn’t even premiered, and already the producers of the FX anthology series have decided on their second season.
Early on, the trio — Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson — agreed to broaden its definition of “American crime,” opting not to focus on trial-of-the-week fare but rather other Simpson-style watershed moments in American culture. “Ones where there are before and after moments, and they change the way we look at the subject at hand,” said Jacobson, who added: “There is plenty of true crime stuff available on TV, but [this is about] the degree to which certain pieces come to stand for much more.”
To that end, The Hollywood Reporter reveals in this week’s cover story that the second installment will center on Hurricane Katrina and its devastating aftermath. The working plan, according to Murphy, is to follow a group of six to eight people in an attempt to examine all sides of the tragedy, from the Superdome to the hospital to those who were put on buses and dropped off with babies who were forced to wear trash bags for multiple days.
“I want this show to be a socially conscious, socially aware examination of different types of crime around the world,” he said. “And in my opinion, Katrina was a f—ing crime — a crime against a lot of people who didn’t have a strong voice and we’re going to treat it as a crime. That’s what this show is all about.”
It’s worth noting that a second season hasn’t received a formal greenlight, but one is all but inevitable given the investment and pedigree. Season one, which launches Feb. 2, stars a star-studded cast featuring Cuba Gooding Jr. (Simpson), John Travolta (Robert Shapiro), Courtney B. Vance (Johnnie Cochran), David Schwimmer (Robert Kardashian) and Sarah Paulson (Marcia Clark).
FX Productions is still in negotiations for Katrina source material, but the producers are hoping to start production in the fall and have already begun talking to writers. People v. O.J. Simpson’s Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski will not be involved; the pair is adapting Jeffrey Toobin’s next book, about kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst, as a film.
“O.J.,” Brad Simpson acknowledged, “is a hard act to follow.”
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