American Crime Story was one of the biggest surprises of 2016. Few could have foreseen that this “sensationalist” true crime anthology series about the trial of O.J. Simpson would actually become one of the year’s most relevant and compelling dramas—and from Ryan Murphy, no less. So it’s with cautious optimism that we should probably approach the news that Murphy and Co. are currently eyeing the Monica Lewinsky scandal as a topic for a future American Crime Story season.
Per THR, Murphy and Fox 21 Television have optioned the rights to author Jeffrey Toobin’s 2000 best-seller A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President for a potential American Crime Story season, with the drama on the fast-track—they’re already meeting with actresses to portray Lewinsky and colleague Linda Tripp, whose recorded conversations were a key component of the ensuing impeachment hearings for president Bill Clinton.
One of Toobin’s books also served as the source material for the show’s first season, The People v. O.J. Simpson, so the author already has a working relationship with Murphy. This is certainly a salacious piece of material, but then again so was the combination of O.J. and Ryan Murphy and that turned out terrifically. So, while I’m inclined to hesitate here, as a massive fan of The People v. O.J. I’m also willing to give Murphy the benefit of the doubt.
It’s unclear when this Lewinsky-focused season might come to fruition, as Murphy and FX are already well underway with plans for seasons 2 and 3. Last year it was announced that the show’s second season would revolve around Hurricane Katrina and the atrocities that took place in the wake of its devastation, but FX also recently greenlit a season that will focus on the murder of Gianni Versace. Production on those two seasons will take place concurrently, with Versace airing six months after Katrina premieres—but we’ll have to wait until 2018 before those hit the airwaves.
A curious development to be sure, and very Ryan Murphy, but I gotta say I’m kind of intrigued. Let’s see where this goes…