A spin-off of the FX series American Horror Story, American Crime Story dramatises high-profile American true crimes. The first series revisited the O.J. Simpson trial and the second looked at the brazen murder of designer Gianni Versace. Praised for its writing, the provocative show delves into the detail of each crime, shedding new light on familiar cases.
Where can I watch American Crime Story?
American Crime Story is available on Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime and iTunes. Series one is also available to purchase on DVD and Blu-ray.
How many seasons are there of American Crime Story? How many episodes are there per season?
There have been two seasons of American Crime Story so far. Season one had ten episodes and season two had nine.
What is American Crime Story about?
Each series of American Crime Story covers a separate, unrelated crime, so they function more like individual miniseries under the American Crime Story umbrella.
Series one, The People v O.J. Simpson, was the big winner at the 2016 Emmy Awards. It took home more awards than any other show that year, including prizes for acting, writing and limited series.
Based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson, the series begins as the Los Angeles Police Department begin to suspect that the ex-NFL player might have something to do with the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Lyle Goldman. The story is told from the perspective of lawyers from the prosecution and defence, offering intriguing insight into what went on behind the scenes in the famous case.
The second series, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, is also based on a book. It, too, received a slew of Emmy nominations, taking home trophies for limited series and acting. The narrative jumps back and forth in time, keeping viewers in suspense as they seek to understand who shot the designer, and why.
Who is in the cast of American Crime Story?
Both series feature large ensemble casts.
The People v OJ Simpson
Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr (Jerry Maguire, Boyz in the Hood) plays ex-NFL player and defendant O.J. Simpson.
Friends’ David Schwimmer stars as O.J. Simpson’s defense attorney Robert Kardashian. Yes, Kim’s dad!
John Travolta joins him as litigator Robert Shapiro alongside Courtney B Vance lawyer Johnnie Cochran and Nathan Lane as defense attorney F. Lee Bailey.
Kenneth Choi (Sons of Anarchy) plays presiding judge Lance Ito.
Prolific actor Sarah Paulson (12 Years A Slave, Jack & Jill) won an Emmy for her portrayal of lead prosecutor Marcia Clark.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace
The second series stars former journalist Édgar Ramírez (Carlos) as murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace. Academy Award winner Penélope Cruz plays his daughter, Donatella.
In a breakthrough Emmy and Golden Globe-winning performance, Glee’s Darren Criss plays suspect Andrew Cunanan.
‘King of Latin Pop’ Ricky Martin plays fellow designer Antonio D’Amico.
Other cast members include Judith Light as Home Shopping Network host Marilyn Miglin and Finn Wittrock, who also stars in American Horror Story, as murder victim Jeff Trail.
How accurate is American Crime Story?
The series rely heavily on their source material, both extensively-researched non-fiction works. The inspiration for the second series, Vulgar Favours by Vanity Fair journalist Mary Orth, drew “on over 400 interviews and thousands of pages and police reports,” though it has been challenged by Versace’s friend and former lover.
To learn more about the accuracy of the second series, click here.
Law professor Laurie Levinson, who covered the OJ Simpson trial for CBS, told the broadcaster many of the series’ details were spot-on, though some things were tweaked for dramatic license.
For example, while the series portrays the trial, initially, as an evenly-matched battle between the prosecution and defence, in truth “the prosecutors looked like a train wreck…I could see it all coming.”
She also said Rob Kardashian’s role in the trial was inflated in the series.
Where was American Crime Story filmed?
Series one was filmed in Los Angeles. Series two filmed primarily in Miami, and the crew were able to use Versace’s former mansion —the actual murder location, and now a luxury hotel— for the show.
Will there be another season of American Crime Story?
The upcoming third season, subtitled Impeachment, will dramatise the impeachment of US President Bill Clinton for charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, following his affair with White House aide Monica Lewinsky. It’s based on another book written by Toobin entitled A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President.
The season is set to premiere on September 27, 2020.
Another season, based on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, was in development at FX, with Dennis Quaid cast to play President George W Bush. However, it was announced in February 2019 that production on the season has been scrapped.
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