- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
The prolific showrunner has set two American Story spinoffs — anthologies American Sports Story and American Love Story — at FX as the John Landgraf-led cable network is already working with Murphy on a potential fourth season of American Crime Story that will focus on Studio 54.
American Sports Story will expand the franchise to re-examine a prominent event involving a sports figure through the prism of today’s world and will tell the story from multiple perspectives. The first season will be based on the Boston Globe and Wondery podcast Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc. It will chart the rise and fall of the former New England Patriots tight end who was convicted for murder and ultimately took his own life. Thematically, it will explore the disparate strands of his identity, his family, his career, his suicide and their legacy in sports and American culture. Stu Zicherman (The Americans) will pen the script and exec produce the series alongside Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall and Wondery’s Hernan Lopez and Marshall Lewy and The Boston Globe’s Linda Pizutti Henry and Ira Napoliello.
American Love Story, meanwhile, will chart the whirlwind courtship and marriage of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette. What started out as a beautiful union for the young couple, widely regarded as American royalty, began to fray under the stress of the relentless microscope and navel gaze of tabloid media. The pressures of their careers and rumored family discord ended with their tragic deaths when his private plane crashed into the ocean on a hazy summer night off the coast of Massachusetts. Murphy, Falchuk, Jacobson, Simpson and Woodall exec produce. A writer has not yet been announced.
As for American Crime Story, which returns in September with its highly anticipated Impeachment season, the potential fourth cycle will be titled Studio 54. Currently in the development stages, it will focus on Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager who, in 1977, turned their midtown Manhattan disco into an international mecca of nightlife for the rich and famous and commoners alike — renowned for its lavish parties, music, sex and drugs. With Rubell and Schrager’s meteoric rise came their epic fall less than three years later when the impresarios were convicted of tax fraud.
After starting with American Horror Story and growing to American Crime Story, the franchise now totals five shows, including FX on Hulu’s episodic anthology American Horror Stories. The American Story franchise, as FX is calling it, has collectively earned 141 Emmy nominations, taking home 33 trophies.
“When Ryan Murphy came to us with these two spinoffs and the stories for American Sports Story and American Love Story, we immediately jumped at the opportunity,” FX chairman Landgraf said in a statement Friday, ahead of his virtual time with the Television Critics Association. “What began with American Horror Story has spawned some of the best and most indelible programs of our generation, most notably American Crime Story which created a beautiful partnership between Ryan, Brad, Nina and Brad. Their alchemy and the way in which they construct these stories is done with such care, such clarity and such dimensionality that creates the magnificence that is The People v. O.J. Simpson, The Assassination of Gianni Versace and Impeachment. We can’t wait to see what comes next.”
Murphy departed his longtime home at the Fox-turned-Disney owned 20th Television in 2018 for a five-year, $300 million overall deal with Netflix. Under the deal, Glee creator has delivered the streaming giant projects including The Prom, Pray Away, The Boys in the Band, The Politician, Hollywood, Halston and the upcoming Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Ratched, his first show for Netflix, is produced by 20th TV.
For Disney, Murphy continues to exec produce Fox’s 911 and its Lone Star spinoff; FX’s American Horror Story and American Crime Story, with Pose having recently wrapped after three seasons. American Horror Story returns with its 10th season, Double Feature, this month. AHS, which helped usher in a new era of anthologies, was renewed last year for three additional seasons, taking it through its 13th cycle.
“More than a decade ago, Ryan Murphy expressed interest in expanding the American Horror Story model to be able to tell different American stories, which have long captivated so many of us. It was a brilliant idea. Adding these new installments to the franchise will enable Ryan, Brad, Nina and Brad and their talented teams to tackle riveting stories outside of the horror and crime genres,” said Dana Walden, Walt Disney TV entertainment chairman. “This group has done a truly amazing job of examining situations we think we know everything about and making us realize that there was so much more there than what we had been told. Many of us at 20th Television, FX and FXP have worked together on this franchise since the very beginning and it has been a privilege. It’s been an incredible partnership and collaboration and we’re looking forward to these new chapters.”
Murphy is repped by CAA and Craig Emanuel of Paul Hastings. Jacobson, Simpson and their FX Productions-based Color Force banner are with CAA and Ziffren Brittenham. Zicherman is with UTA, Mosaic and McKuin Frankel.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day