The second season of American Crime Story is going through a bit of a switcheroo. Ryan Murphy launched the anthology series last year on FX with The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story to universal critical acclaim and a boatload of Emmys, and FX quickly ordered not one but two new seasons. Katrina was greenlit as Season 2, with Murphy also developing Versace as Season 3. Production is already underway on Versace with a star-studded cast, and while American Crime Story would be taking a hiatus from 2017, the plan was to air both seasons in 2018 with Katrina going first, then Versace six months later. That’s no longer happening, as the two seasons are now swapping places.
Per THR, Katrina: American Crime Story has been delayed with production not starting until early 2018, so Versace: American Crime Story will now air first as Season 2 of the anthology series, with Katrina following six months later. Katrina had already begun casting, securing Dennis Quaid as President George W. Bush alongside Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, and returning players like Sarah Paulson, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Courtney B. Vance, but THR says this production delay is due to the team needing more time to create the extensive special water effects that will mimic Hurricane Katrina, while scheduling of the actors is also said to have been a factor.
Katrina intends to chronicle the disaster and its fallout from a variety of points of view, shedding new light on a famous event just as The People v. O.J. Simpson did. Meanwhile, Versace is already in the midst of filming in Miami, so there’s no issue with airing that season first in the early part of 2018.
Versace chronicles the 1997 assassination of designer Gianni Versaci (Edgar Ramirez) by a serial killer (Darren Criss) who committed suicide eight days later. The cast also includes Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace as well as Ricky Martin.
Murphy is currently readying his Fox straight-to-series drama 911, which stars Angela Bassett and revolves around 911 operators. And as if producing two seasons of American Crime Story at once wasn’t enough, he and producers are already mulling a fourth season of the series that will focus on the Monica Lewinsky scandal.