FX really wants you to spend some quality time with O.J. Simpson this Saturday night, though safely in confines of your own home. The network will be airing the first 5 episodes of its anthology series, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (out of the eventual 10) without commercial interruptions starting at 10 p.m. My advice: if you haven’t started on the series yet, this is a perfect time to set that ol’ DV-R.
I reviewed The People vs. O.J. Simpson last month and found it (as my headline says), “fittingly engrossing.” But it’s also insanely frustrating, and depending on how much you remember about the original trial, it could also be too much to live through it all again. Still, the cast is excellent, and even though it’s a Ryan Murphy production, it feels more dialed-down that his usual fare (this circus needs no additional ringmaster).
The true-life series follows the various players in the 1994 trial of O.J. Simpson for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. Starting with the discovery of the bodies before showing all sides of the absolutely cannot-be-believed investigation and courtroom drama, the series is meticulous but never overwhelming in its portrayals.
The People vs. O.J. Simpson stars Cuba Gooding Jr as Simpson, Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, Courtney B. Vance as Johnny Cochran, and John Travolta as Robert Shapiro, as well as Sterling K. Brown, Nathan Lane, Connie Britton, Selma Blair, Kenneth Choi, Malcolm-Jamal Warner … it’s a big cast.
But FX’s decision to airs the episodes without commercials is an interesting one (especially since it’s last-minute, and starting so late). If you have a DV-R, you can sail through the commercials anyway. But this will perhaps encourage a binge-watch from some viewers … are you one of them? Overall, I think it’s a great idea and one more networks should engage in to build interest in a series (especially on Friday and Saturday nights when so many people are turning to Netflix and other streaming platforms).
To reiterate with the specifics: The People vs. O.J. Simpson marathon starts Saturday, March 5th at 10 p.m. ET and will conclude at 2:10 a.m. (if you live on the West Coast, it will run from 7 p.m. PT until 11:10 p.m.) The series will then resume at its regular Tuesday night slot, with commercials, on FX.