American Crime Story

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American Crime Story
American Crime Story (season 2) title card.jpg
Title card for the second season
Genre
Based on Season 1
The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson
by Jeffrey Toobin
Season 2
Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History
by Maureen Orth
Developed by Scott Alexander
Larry Karaszewski
Starring
Composer(s) Mac Quayle
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 19 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Chip Vucelich
  • John Travolta
  • Alexis Martin Woodall (season 1)
  • Eric Kovtun
  • Lou Eyrich
  • Eryn Krueger Mekash
Production location(s) Los Angeles, California (Season 1)
Miami, Florida (Season 2)
Cinematography Nelson Cragg
Editor(s)
  • Adam Penn
  • C. Chi-Yoon Chung
  • Stewart Schill
Running time 41–58 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor 20th Television
Release
Original network FX
Original release February 2, 2016 (2016-02-02) – present
External links
Website

American Crime Story is an American true crime anthology television series developed by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who are executive producers with Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, Ryan Murphy, and Brad Simpson. A spin-off of American Horror Story[1], each season is presented as a self-contained miniseries, following separate unrelated true events. Series creators Alexander and Karaszewski did not return after the first season.[2]

The first season, subtitled The People v. O. J. Simpson, presents the murder trial of O. J. Simpson, based on Jeffrey Toobin's book The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson. The second season, subtitled The Assassination of Gianni Versace, explores the murder of designer Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, based on Maureen Orth's book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U. S. History.

The series is broadcast on the cable television channel FX in the United States. It premiered on February 2, 2016.[3][4][5] A third season, based on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is in development.

Overview[edit]

The People v. O. J. Simpson (2016)[edit]

Based on Jeffrey Toobin's The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson, the season explores the O.J. Simpson (Cuba Gooding Jr.) murder case as well as the combination of prosecution confidence, defense wiliness, and the Los Angeles Police Department's history with the city's African-American community that gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.[6][7]

The season also stars Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden, Kenneth Choi as Lance Ito, Christian Clemenson as Bill Hodgman, Bruce Greenwood as Gil Garcetti, Nathan Lane as F. Lee Bailey, Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, John Travolta as Robert Shapiro and Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace (2018)[edit]

Based on Maureen Orth's book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History, the season examines the July 1997 assassination of legendary fashion designer Gianni Versace (Édgar Ramírez) by sociopathic serial killer Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss), who killed himself in a Miami Beach houseboat after an eight-day manhunt.[8][9]

The season also stars Ricky Martin as Antonio D'Amico and Penélope Cruz as Donatella Versace.

Katrina[edit]

Based on Sheri Fink's book Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, the season will take an unflinching look at the decisions doctors made at Memorial Medical Cent 15[10] (see also:Memorial Medical Center and Hurricane Katrina). In August 2017, it was announced that Sarah Paulson would star as Dr. Anna Pou, who was on duty at the hospital when Katrina struck.[11][12]

The so-called Katrina season was originally planned to be the second season of the series, with The Assassination of Gianni Versace following as the third. However, in June 2017, it was announced that Katrina would not begin production until early 2018 and that Versace would air in early 2018, replacing Katrina as the show's official second installment.[13]

Season 4[edit]

In January 2017, it was announced that a fourth season was in development. It was supposed to cover the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal and the ensuing events during Clinton's presidency, based on Jeffrey Toobin's book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President.[14][15] In February 2017, Ryan Murphy revealed that Sarah Paulson was supposed to be in the season, but not as Hillary Clinton.[16] However, in April 2018, Murphy revealed that the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal-based season was scrapped and no longer in development.[17]

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonTitleEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1The People v. O. J. Simpson10February 2, 2016 (2016-02-02)April 5, 2016 (2016-04-05)
2The Assassination of Gianni Versace9January 17, 2018 (2018-01-17)March 21, 2018 (2018-03-21)

Season 1: The People v. O. J. Simpson (2016)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
US viewers
(millions)
11"From the Ashes of Tragedy"Ryan MurphyScott Alexander & Larry KaraszewskiFebruary 2, 2016 (2016-02-02)1WAX015.12[18]
22"The Run of His Life"Ryan MurphyScott Alexander & Larry KaraszewskiFebruary 9, 2016 (2016-02-09)1WAX023.90[19]
33"The Dream Team"Anthony HemingwayD. V. DeVincentisFebruary 16, 2016 (2016-02-16)1WAX033.34[20]
44"100% Not Guilty"Anthony HemingwayMaya Forbes & Wallace Wolodarsky and
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
February 23, 2016 (2016-02-23)1WAX043.00[21]
55"The Race Card"John SingletonJoe Robert ColeMarch 1, 2016 (2016-03-01)1WAX052.73[22]
66"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia"Ryan MurphyD. V. DeVincentisMarch 8, 2016 (2016-03-08)1WAX063.00[23]
77"Conspiracy Theories"Anthony HemingwayD. V. DeVincentisMarch 15, 2016 (2016-03-15)1WAX072.89[24]
88"A Jury in Jail"Anthony HemingwayJoe Robert ColeMarch 22, 2016 (2016-03-22)1WAX082.91[25]
99"Manna from Heaven"Anthony HemingwayScott Alexander & Larry KaraszewskiMarch 29, 2016 (2016-03-29)1WAX092.76[26]
1010"The Verdict"Ryan MurphyScott Alexander & Larry KaraszewskiApril 5, 2016 (2016-04-05)1WAX103.27[27]

Season 2: The Assassination of Gianni Versace (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
US viewers
(millions)
11"The Man Who Would Be Vogue"Ryan MurphyTom Rob SmithJanuary 17, 2018 (2018-01-17)[a]3WAX012.22[29]
22"Manhunt"Nelson CraggTom Rob SmithJanuary 24, 2018 (2018-01-24)3WAX021.42[30]
33"A Random Killing"Gwyneth Horder-PaytonTom Rob SmithJanuary 31, 2018 (2018-01-31)3WAX031.26[31]
44"House by the Lake"Daniel MinahanTom Rob SmithFebruary 7, 2018 (2018-02-07)3WAX040.98[32]
55"Don't Ask Don't Tell"Daniel MinahanTom Rob SmithFebruary 14, 2018 (2018-02-14)3WAX050.91[33]
66"Descent"Gwyneth Horder-PaytonTom Rob SmithFebruary 28, 2018 (2018-02-28)3WAX071.10[34]
77"Ascent"Gwyneth Horder-PaytonTom Rob SmithMarch 7, 2018 (2018-03-07)3WAX060.92[35]
88"Creator / Destroyer"Matt BomerTom Rob Smith and Maggie CohnMarch 14, 2018 (2018-03-14)3WAX081.00[36]
99"Alone"Daniel MinahanTom Rob SmithMarch 21, 2018 (2018-03-21)3WAX091.20[37]
Notes
  1. ^ This episode was available five days before the official premiere for FX+ subscribers.[28]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

The People v. O. J. Simpson

On October 7, 2014, it was announced that FX had ordered a 10-episode season of American Crime Story, developed by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, and executive produced by Alexander and Karaszewski, as well as Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, who co-created such series as Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story, Scream Queens, and Pose. Murphy also directed the pilot episode. Other executive producers are Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson.[38] Co-executive producers are Anthony Hemingway and D. V. DeVincentis. All 10 episodes were expected to be written by Alexander and Karaszewski.[6][39] The series was previously in development at Fox but since moved to the company's sibling cable network FX.[40]

Katrina

When first announced as the second season, Katrina was said to be using Douglas Brinkley's book The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast as the primary source material,[41][10] with Annette Bening cast as Kathleen Blanco, Matthew Broderick as Michael D. Brown, and Dennis Quaid as George W. Bush.[42] Cuba Gooding Jr.[11] and Courtney B. Vance[11] were set to return after their participation in the first season, but after the source material was changed, only Sarah Paulson was set to star as Anna Pou, with the other actors such as Bening, Broderick, and Quaid leaving the project. However, it was said the producers would try to find new characters for at least some of those actors already cast.[12]

Casting[edit]

For season 1, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sarah Paulson were the first to be cast as Simpson and Marcia Clark, respectively.[43] Subsequently, David Schwimmer was cast as Robert Kardashian.[44] In January 2015, it was reported that John Travolta had joined the cast as Robert Shapiro; he would also serve as producer.[45] In February 2015, Courtney B. Vance joined the series as Johnnie Cochran.[46] In March 2015, it was announced that Connie Britton would co-star as Faye Resnick.[47] April 2015 saw the casting of Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden,[48] Jordana Brewster as Denise Brown,[49] and Kenneth Choi as Judge Lance Ito.[50] In May 2015, it was confirmed Selma Blair would be portraying Kris Kardashian Jenner.[51] In July 2015, it was announced Nathan Lane had joined the cast as F. Lee Bailey.[52]

In February 2017, Annette Bening has joined the cast of Katrina as Kathleen Blanco,[53] while Matthew Broderick was cast as Michael D. Brown.[54] That same month, Édgar Ramírez and Darren Criss joined the cast of The Assassination of Gianni Versace as Gianni Versace and Andrew Cunanan, respectively.[55]

Murphy confirmed the reports announcing Lady Gaga would portray Donatella Versace in The Assassination of Gianni Versace were false;[56][57] Penélope Cruz was later cast in the role.[58] In April 2017, it was announced that Ricky Martin was joining the cast of The Assassination of Gianni Versace as Antonio D'Amico, Versace’s longtime partner.[59] On April 28, 2017, Annaleigh Ashford was seen filming on the set of The Assassination of Gianni Versace with Criss.[60] On June 21, 2017, it was announced through EW that Ashford's role in the series would be as Elizabeth Cote, a friend of Cunanan's since high school.[61] On May 5, 2017, Murphy posted a photo on Instagram of Criss and Max Greenfield on the set of the season. On June 21, 2017, it was announced that Finn Wittrock will star in The Assassination of Gianni Versace, playing Jeffrey Trail, Cunanan's first victim.

Filming[edit]

Principal photography for Season 1 began on May 14, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.[49][62] According to a lot of set photos, principal photography of then season 3, now being considered season 2, began at the beginning of May 2017, in Miami, Florida.

Promotion[edit]

In October 2015, FX released its first promotional trailer for The People v. O. J. Simpson, showing an Akita dog whining, walking from its residence onto a sidewalk to bark, then walking back to its residence, leaving behind bloody paw prints.[63] Later that month another teaser was released, wherein the first actual footage of Travolta as Shapiro was shown. In the teaser, Shapiro is about to ask Simpson (whose face is unseen) if he is responsible for the murder of Simpson's ex-wife. In the next short teaser that was released, Simpson (again unseen) is taking a lie detector test.

In November, two new teasers were released. The first shows Simpson writing his attempted suicide letter, while a voice-over by Gooding, Jr. narrates. The second shows the police chasing Simpson's white Ford Bronco, while dozens of fans cheer for him.[64]

The first full trailer was released in December, along with a poster for the season. The trailer included Simpson sitting in the childhood bedroom of Kim Kardashian and contemplating suicide while Robert Kardashian tries to stop him.[65]

In September 2017, FX released the first promotional teaser for The Assassination of Gianni Versace, showing doves sitting outside Versace's former mansion and flying away when two gunshots ring out.[66] A second teaser was released that same month, depicting Versace's sister Donatella placing flowers on a casket.[67]

Broadcast[edit]

The series first premiered worldwide in Canada on FX on February 2, 2016.[68] In the Philippines, the series premiered on February 3, 2016 on CT.[69] In India, the series premiered on STAR World Premiere HD on February 8, 2016. The first series premiered in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2016.[70] The second series began on February 28, 2018 on BBC Two. In Israel, the series premiered on February 22, 2016. In Australia, the series' first season was promoted as a "miniseries" under the title The People vs OJ Simpson and premiered on Network Ten on March 6, 2016 before concluding on May 8, 2016.[71] The series currently airs at 10:15pm on Thursdays on RTÉ One in Ireland.[72]

The first season was made available on Netflix in all countries except Canada and German speaking Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) in February 2017. All future seasons will be made available on Netflix following their respective broadcast windows.[73]

Reception[edit]

Season Critical response
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
The People v. O. J. Simpson 97% (74 reviews) 90 (45 reviews)
The Assassination of Gianni Versace 85% (61 reviews) 74 (34 reviews)

The first season of American Crime Story has received critical acclaim. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the season an approval rating of 97%, based on 74 reviews, with an average rating of 8.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story brings top-shelf writing, directing, and acting to bear on a still-topical story while shedding further light on the facts – and provoking passionate responses along the way."[74] On Metacritic, the season has a score of 90 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[75]

The second season of American Crime Story received positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the season an approval rating of 85%, based on 61 reviews, with an average rating of 7.07/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Assassination of Versace starts with a bang and unfurls slowly, moving backward through an intricate (and occasionally convoluted) murder mystery anchored by a career-defining performance from Darren Criss."[76] On Metacritic, the season has a score of 74 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "Generally favorable reviews".[77]

Ratings[edit]

American Crime Story : U.S. viewers per episode (millions)
SeasonEpisode number
12345678910
The People v. O. J. Simpson5.123.903.343.002.733.002.892.912.763.27
The Assassination of Gianni Versace2.221.421.260.980.911.100.921.001.20N/A
Audience measurement performed by Nielsen Media Research.[78][citation needed]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2015 5th Critics' Choice Television Awards Most Exciting New Series American Crime Story Won [79]
2016 7th Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Movie/Miniseries The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story Won [citation needed]
Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries Cuba Gooding Jr. Nominated
Courtney B. Vance Won
Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries Sarah Paulson Won
Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries Sterling K. Brown Won
John Travolta Nominated
BET Awards 2016 Best Actor Courtney B. Vance Nominated [80]
74th Golden Globe Awards Best Miniseries or Television Film The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story Won [citation needed]
Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Courtney B. Vance Nominated
Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Sarah Paulson Won
Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Sterling K. Brown Nominated
John Travolta Nominated
68th Primetime Emmy Awards
(68th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards)
Outstanding Limited Series The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story Won [81]
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Courtney B. Vance Won
Cuba Gooding Jr. Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Sarah Paulson Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Sterling K. Brown Won
David Schwimmer Nominated
John Travolta Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special Ryan Murphy (for "From the Ashes of Tragedy") Nominated
John Singleton (for "The Race Card") Nominated
Anthony Hemingway (for "Manna from Heaven") Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski (for "From the Ashes of Tragedy") Nominated
Joe Robert Cole (for "The Race Card") Nominated
D. V. DeVincentis (for "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia") Won
Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special Jeanne McCarthy, Nicole Abellera Hallman, Courtney Bright, and Nicole Daniels Won
Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie Nelson Cragg (for "From the Ashes of Tragedy") Nominated
Outstanding Costumes for a Period/Fantasy Series, Limited Series, or Movie Hala Bahmet, Marina Ray, and Elinor Bardach (for "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia") Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Limited Series or Movie Chris Clark, Natalie Driscoll, Shay Sanford-Fong, and Katrina Chevalier Won
Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or Movie (Non-Prosthetic) Eryn Krueger Mekash, Zoe Hay, Heather Plott, Deborah Huss Humphries, Luis Garcia, and Becky Cotton Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or Movie Adam Penn (for "From the Ashes of Tragedy") Nominated
C. Chi-Yoon Chung (for "The Race Card") Won
Stewart Schill (for "The Verdict") Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or Movie Doug Andham, Joe Earle, and John Bauman (for "From the Ashes of Tragedy") Won
32nd TCA Awards Program of the Year The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story Won [82]
Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials Won
Individual Achievement in Drama Sarah Paulson Won
Courtney B. Vance Nominated
2018 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Performance in a Show Darren Criss Nominated [83]
70th Primetime Emmy Awards
(70th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards)
Outstanding Limited Series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story Pending
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Darren Criss Pending
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Ricky Martin Pending
Édgar Ramírez Pending
Finn Wittrock Pending
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Penélope Cruz Pending
Judith Light Pending
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special Ryan Murphy for "The Man Who Would Be Vogue" Pending
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special Tom Rob Smith for "House by the Lake" Pending

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External links[edit]