Mining real life for drama
Current and upcoming TV series attempt to add fresh insight to highly publicized events
Twenty years after O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder, what new insight could a TV drama have to offer? As it turned out, a lot. FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” which premiered in February 2016, brilliantly dissected what the case said about the country’s racial divisions. An all-star cast gave sobering portrayals of some of the trial’s most misunderstood players — including, most memorably, besieged prosecutor Marcia Clark (Sarah Paulson).
The success of “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” coupled with pop culture’s increasing obsession with true crime, has given way to a slew of series offering fresh perspectives on stories that dominated
The success of “The People v. O.J. Simpson” last year helped to spark a slew of dramatic TV series based on headline-grabbing stories.
headlines, particularly in the 1980s and ’90s. Ryan Murphy, the veteran producer behind “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” is leading the charge with several installments of “American Crime Story” slated to debut on FX over the next few years.
Murphy is also continuing “Feud,” which launched this year with “Bette and Joan,” a delicious exploration of the rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
Other networks are getting into the game as well. Discovery recently premiered an eight-episode series about the FBI’s hunt for Ted Kaczynski, while Showtime recently acquired the rights to “Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes,” which is based on the reporting of Gabriel Sherman.
Here is a guide to the slate of TV shows based on real-life events.