First Look: ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story’ Promises ‘You Don’t Know the Half of It’

The O.J. Simpson trial has become a cultural touchstone in the years since it captured the public’s consciousness in the mid ’90s, but a new teaser for FX’s upcoming drama, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” promises that even if you saw it all at the time, “you don’t know the half of it.”

“It’s not really about O.J. Simpson the man, it’s really about the case itself, and the lawyers on both sides,” says Sarah Paulson, who plays prosecutor Marcia Clark in the 10-episode limited series. “There’s a lot of things in this that people don’t know, or they certainly don’t remember.”

Executive producer Brad Simpson agrees, “The ambition of the show is not to replay the events, but to show you what was going on off-screen.”

Created, written and executive produced by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the true crime series explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution overconfidence, defense shrewdness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed to acquit the football star of double homicide: reasonable doubt.

The series is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” and hails from executive producers Alexander, Karaszewski, Simpson, Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and Brad Falchuk. It stars Paulson, John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr., David Schwimmer, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling Brown, Nathan Lane, Kenneth Choi, Christian Clemenson and Bruce Greenwood. “The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions.

At the recent Television Critics Association press tour presentation for the series, Gooding admitted that Simpson is “the hardest character I’ve ever played… It was six months of an emotional roller coaster.”

The cast and producers agreed not to reach out to the characters’ real-life counterparts for the series before they began filming, so as not to be swayed by their perspectives. “We chose actually not to contact any of the people involved in the case,” said Jacobson. “We adapted Jeffrey Toobin’s book which we greatly appreciated for character and context, and we weren’t seeking to make a docuseries.”

Even so, Murphy stood by the accuracy of the series, telling reporters, “I never worked on a project that had more legal vetting than this. Every script has been gone over by five lawyers.”

“The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” premieres Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 10 p.m. on FX.

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  1. Jackie Thompson says:

    People remember what they want to. I remember very clearly that Simpson cut his finger on a glass in his hotel room when the police notified him of Nicole’s death. They found the glass. I actually spent a lot of time following this case and I think it’s wrong for people to say that the jurors were ignorant. I would have voted to not convict. There just wasn’t enough evidence. Ronald G. Was a tall, fit man and they knew he fought. We’re was the blood? To little blood were it shouldn’t be and none where it should. It seemed planted. It seems strange but L.A was so crooked. Also I always thought it strange they choose not to follow DNA from under Nicole’s fingers she also fought. This should be interesting.

    • Jean-Michel says:

      Simpson claimed he RE-OPENED the wound on the glass (though no blood was found on the shards). He told Detectives Lange and Vannetter that he got the original cut on the night of the murders and couldn’t remember how, because it was so totally normal for him to get such deep cuts from famously high-risk activities like “play[ing] golf and stuff.” He didn’t explain if it was also normal for him to leave such wounds unattended and just drip blood all over his house and car.

  2. Bill B. says:

    Why people would be interested in watching all of this again, the most publicized piece of injustice in modern history, is beyond me.

  3. Brian N. Everett says:

    This is a slowly breaking news story, that is a must read: @WhyNotTellUs on Twitter.

  4. StubbornlyRational says:

    One fact that the idiotic Marcia Clark failed to present in evidence. Simpson had a severe cut (requiring stitches) on his hand. Asked by the police how he got the cut, Simpson said he “couldn’t remember”..

    As Vincent Bugliosi and others have pointed out, this virtually guarantees Simpson’s guilt. Most people get a cut that severe two or three times in a lifetime. And they remember every instance as if it happened yesterday. Yet OJ “couldn’t remember” the next day!!

    Now ask yourself, if the events are probabilistically independent, what is the probability that your wife will have her throat cut and YOU will have your finger cut badly enough to require stitches THE SAME DAY. If the events are independent, the probability is infinitesimally small.

    Any intelligent juror would have realized that and voted for conviction, despite all the disgusting shenanigans of Barry Scheck and Johnnie Cochrane.

  5. Naomi says:

    The “cut” was a result of OJ breaking a glass in the hotel room he was in when detectives notified him of Nicole’s death. The “cut” did not come from Nicole or Ronald. The cut wasn’t so severe that it needed stitches. In effect, the cut is a minor cut. I would implore you to look at the picture of OJ’s “cut” on his finger. Regards.

  6. Jennifer 7 says:

    You. Are. Correct.

    GUILTY.

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