By Daniel D'Addario
October 7, 2014

Not content with the passel of Emmys already won by Ryan Murphy’s first three seasons of American Horror Story, FX is furthering its investment in the Murphy brand. The cable network has announced its order of an anthology miniseries entitled American Crime Story, the first season of which will focus on the case of O.J. Simpson, to begin production next year.

The series is to be based on Jeffery Toobin’s true-crime book The Run of His Life and focus on both the Simpson legal team and the case’s prosecutors. While the team involved is prestigious (announced writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski also wrote The People vs. Larry Flynt), it’s not hard to wonder the degree to which Murphy’s particular touch will inflect the proceedings. Murphy’s American Horror Story is indeed horrific, but it aims for screams of campy delight as often as screams of terror. His series Glee and the departed New Normal also sought to balance genuine emotion with self-consciously arch humor.

But the case of O.J. Simpson, hinging as it does on two senseless deaths, will be harder to turn into entertainment. Murphy’s comment, provided by FX, provides as much reason to hope for insight as it does reason to fear whether he’ll stick the landing:

Meanwhile, Murphy’s American Horror Story: Freak Show — about an entirely different sort of spectacle — is set to begin on Oct. 8.

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