The third season of Ryan Murphy's American Crime Story is currently airing in the US, with the show's latest entry looking at the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal of the mid-1990s from the perspective of Monica Lewinsky, the 22-year-old White House intern who had an affair with President Bill Clinton, and Linda Tripp, Lewinsky's confidante and colleague who secretly recorded their conversations about the relationship.
Starring Murphy favourite Sarah Paulson (Tripp) and Booksmart's Beanie Feldstein (Lewinsky), Impeachment: American Crime Story is set to dissect the scandal and "explore the criss that led to the first impeachment of a US President".
Featuring a star-studded cast (Clive Owen, Edie Falco, Margo Martindale, Billy Eichner, Cobie Smulders), there's a lot to get excited about with this FX series, especially with the show's recent short trailers teasing Paulson in heavy prosthetics as the late Pentagon employee Tripp.
While the show is based on Jeffrey Toobin's book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President, Monica Lewinsky herself was a producer on the season, with the show's star Beanie Feldstein saying during a Television Critics Association press tour that Lewinsky had a say in "every word" and "every script page" of Impeachment.
"When I received the scripts, I knew that every word that I was saying was approved and had been to Monica first... [The producers] would go through the scripts with her and [she would] give all her feedback and her notes," she said. "And by the time it got to me, I was sure that everything in there was something that she felt comfortable with, she felt was real to her life and represented her."
Read on for everything you need to know about Impeachment: American Crime Story.
Impeachment: American Crime Story release date
The series will make its UK debut on BBC Two on Tuesday 19th October at 9:15pm, a little over a month after the US premiere.
Impeachment: American Crime Story originally debuted across the Atlantic on Tuesday 7th September at 9pm on FX, with new episodes then arriving on a weekly basis.
Filming on the Ryan Murphy drama began in October 2020 after a number of COVID-related delays, however production was paused in December after positive coronavirus cases were recorded on set. Shooting resumed in January before filming finally wrapped in August.
The US premiere for the series was originally slated for September 2020, before the US election, which caused some criticism given concerns about the potential sway the show could have on the election results.
In early January 2020, FX announced it would be putting a pin in season's three launch date, though FX chairman John Landgraf has stated the decision was due to the show's expected "long production" rather than general election concerns.
"[Exec producer] Ryan [Murphy] is probably objectively the busiest man in show business… and he’s not available to start production until March 21 of this year,” Landgraf told reporters during the Television Critics Association winter press tour. "So that means we won’t be physically done actually shooting the episodes until October, because of the long production.
"So I think we initially announced that we’d air in September, and I don’t think that’s reasonable, frankly, given that it won’t finish production until October."
The BBC has confirmed that as with The Assassination of Gianni Versace, it will be airing this instalment of the anthology series, most likely at a date later than the US premiere.
Impeachment: American Crime Story plot
Impeachment will follow the uproar surrounding the affair of 49-year-old US President Bill Clinton and 22-year-old Monica Lewinsky (an intern at the White House).
According to FX, Impeachment will look at "the national crisis that swept up Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp as principal characters in the country’s first impeachment proceedings in over a century", with Lewinsky herself producing the drama.
The series will portray the repercussions of their liaison which started with a sexual harassment case (filed by Paula Jones) against Clinton that eventually spiralled into him being impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice in 1998.
Impeachment is set to take a fresh look at the story from the perspectives of Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp and Paula Jones, with Lewinksy having had a say in "every word" and "every script page" of the show according to its star Beanie Feldstein, who spoke at press tour panel for the Television Critics Association.
Executive producer and writer Sarah Burgess added that she and Ryan Murphy met with Lewinsky privately and for episode two, she "added a couple of moments that Monica told me about, and went through all of that with her to make it as accurate as possible".
However Linda Tripp, who died in April 2020, was not consulted prior to her death and neither was the real Paul Jones, according to Burgess.
"Monica, to us, always felt… There's just no experience comparable to that and [it] always just felt important and very clear that we would work with her and speak to her about every script page," she said. "It feels like in 1998, our culture created a second Monica Lewinsky that doesn't bear any relationship to the real person."
Impeachment: American Crime Story cast
British film star Clive Owen has been unveiled to play Bill Clinton, the President at the heart of a scandal.
He joins stars including Beanie Feldstein (Monica Lewinsky) who will appear alongside previous ACS cast members Sarah Paulson (Linda Tripp) and Annaleigh Ashford (Paula Jones). Paulson portrayed Marcia Clark in The People v OJ Simpson, while Ashford appeared as Elizabeth Cote in The Assassination of Gianni Versace. They are joined by another Ryan Murphy alum, Billy Eichner, who was in American Horror Story: Apocalypse.
Margo Martindale has also been confirmed to join the American Crime Story: Impeachment cast as Lucianne Goldberg, while The Sopranos star Edie Falco was revealed to be playing Hillary Clinton back in March.
GLOW's Betty Gilpin was originally set to play right-wing pundit Ann Coulter however due to COVID-related schedule clashes, she was forced to drop out of the project. "It sucks. The schedules just didn't line up...I listened to all those Ann Coulter audiobooks for nothing," she told SlashFilm.
However, How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders quickly replaced Gilpin in the role and is seen in the trailer wearing a Coulter-esque blonde wig.
Rounding out the cast are Mira Sorvino (Monica Lewinsky's mother Marcia Lewis), Veep's Dan Bakkedahl (Kenneth Starr), Bohemian Rhapsody's Joseph Mazzello (Paul Begala), Quantico's Blair Underwood (Vernon Jordan), Mom's Kevin Pollak (Bernie Nussbaum) and The Right Stuff's Patrick Fischler (Sidney Blumenthal).
Impeachment: American Crime Story trailer
FX dropped a first-look trailer, teasing Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky and Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, at the beginning of August, with the two characters facing off in the corridor of the White House.
A full-length trailer was released a few days later, with viewers getting a look at Lewinsky and Bill Clinton's (Clive Owen) relationship, Tripp's recording of her conversations with Lewinsky and the efforts to impeach the president led by conservative pundit Ann Coulter (Cobie Smulders).