How do you get attention for a new series in the Peak TV era? Getting the chatter started early via social media is a must.
FX gave journalists a gift that many of us didn’t know we wanted — screeners of “The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” to binge over the holiday break. The buzz on the high-gloss limited series has been steadily building during the past 10 days since physical discs and streaming links for the first six episodes became available to media types on or about Dec. 17. The series begins its 10-episode run on Feb. 2.
Reactions so far have been generally positive, particularly in regards to the cast. Sarah Paulson has been singled out for her work as prosecutor Marcia Clark, who struggles with personal problems and rampant sexism while on a mission to convict the football legend for the June 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
John Travolta shows a different side of himself as an actor in his portrayal of defense attorney Robert Shapiro. Cuba Gooding Jr. (O.J. Simpson), Courtney B. Vance (defense attorney Johnnie Cochran), David Schwimmer (attorney and Simpson friend Robert Kardashian), Bruce Greenwood (L.A. district attorney Gil Garcetti), Nathan Lane (defense attorney F. Lee Bailey) and Connie Britton (Nicole Simpson friend and future “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” trouper Faye Resnick) add to the firepower.
A number of commentators (including this writer) have noted their surprise at how compelling the retelling of the Simpson saga proves to be. After all, we know how it ends. It’s also noteworthy that “People V. O.J. Simpson” depicts a media tsunami that crests just before the world changed forever as email, Internet access and mobile phones became widely available.
There’s been some teasing about how “People V. O.J. Simpson” exec producers — Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and Brad Falchuk and scribes Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski — couldn’t resist including the then-teen and pre-teen Kardashian kids in the story, given the celebrity status today of Kim, Khloe, et al. Matriarch Kris, who by the time of the murders is divorced from Robert Kardashian and onto her marriage to Caitlyn Jenner, is depicted as having a strong reaction to her ex-husband prominently supporting the man accused of murdering her friend Nicole.
FX’s tagline for “The People V. O.J. Simpson’s” marketing materials is “You don’t know the half of it.” Six episodes in, the evidence to prove the truth of that statement is mounting.
Here’s a sampling of early reactions among journalists to “The People V. O.J. Simpson.”
Six episodes down & I have a LOT of things to say about THE PEOPLE VS. OJ SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY, but I'll wait closer to premiere.
— Scott Neumyer (@ScottNeumyer) December 24, 2015
Watched first six of FX's OJ mini. Now send me the next four please!
— Joe Flint (@JBFlint) December 27, 2015
I was 100% in on The People vs. OJ Simpson then I found out Billy Magnussen is playing Kato Kaelin. Now I’m 110% in
— David Sims (@davidlsims) December 19, 2015
Can't stop watching #AmericanCrimeStory screeners, and it's all Sarah Paulson's fault.
— Vlada Gelman (@VladaGelman) December 25, 2015
My screener journey has finally landed on The People vs. OJ Simpson. Really intrigued for this one.
— Terri Schwartz (@Terri_Schwartz) December 24, 2015
In Things I Love Today news:
"The People vs. OJ Simpson" Episode 6 is titled "Marcia Marcia Marcia" pic.twitter.com/lAAMyZEHo2
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) December 17, 2015