Min­ing real life for drama

Cur­rent and up­com­ing TV se­ries at­tempt to add fresh in­sight to highly pub­li­cized events

The Washington Post Sunday - - TELEVISION - BY BETHONIE BUT­LER

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.

CUBA GOOD­ING JR., LEFT, AS O.J. SIMP­SON AND COURT­NEY B. VANCE AS JOHN­NIE COCHRAN IN “THE PEO­PLE V. O.J. SIMP­SON.” PRASHANT GUPTA/FX

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