If you’re worried about the upcoming American Crime Story: Katrina season, you are not alone. That portion of the anthology was supposed to be up next, but was moved behind The Assassination of Gianni Versace (a wise move), and many of us hoped it would then just go quietly into the night. Not so! At the TCA executive session for FX yesterday, FX CEO John Landgraf announced that the season would be undergoing a “creative pivot,” but that he was “confident” it would indeed air. But … should it?
The season was originally going to be based on Douglas Brinkley‘s The Great Deluge, which tells the story of the survivors of Katrina in their own words. It doesn’t feel much like a Ryan Murphy project, and more like something we got through David Simon‘s Treme and Spike Lee‘s When the Levees Break. However, Deadline revealed today that the source material has been changed to Sheri Fink‘s Five Days at Memorial, which chronicles the harrowing hours and days after the hospital lost power and made the decision to euthanize over 20 terminally or critically ill patients. Dr Anna Pou (played by Sarah Paulson, now taking a leading role) and two ICU nurses were charged with second-degree murder for the patients found to have lethal doses of morphine in their systems.
Originally, the cast included Dennis Quaid as President George W. Bush, Annette Bening as former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, and Matthew Broderick as former FEMA director Michael D. Brown. Now, there are no cast members attached to this new, retooled version of the Katrina season except Paulson (and do we really need anyone else, to be honest?)
Scott Rudin has also joined as a producer, further solidifying the creative changes around the story. And while this does make me feel a little bit better about the Katrina focus, I am still skeptical. Maybe American Horror Story: Katrina would have made more sense?
Will bring you more updates as we know it. In the meantime, you can check out more of Landgraf’s comments on Fargo Season 4, the new Deadpool TV series, and further updates here.