‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’ Scores Big in Emmy Nominations, Just Shy of ‘Game of Thrones’

Emmys 2016: The People v O.
Courtesy of FX

The verdict is in and the TV Academy has been found in favor of “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” with the hit FX drama earning 22 Emmy nominations for 2016 show.

The critically acclaimed, star-studded drama earned the second-most nominations this year, just behind HBO’s “Game of Thrones” with 23 nods.

The ten-episode drama was nominated for outstanding limited series, while stars Sarah Paulson (Marcia Clark), Sterling K. Brown (Chris Darden), Courtney B. Vance (Johnnie Cochran), Cuba Gooding, Jr. (O. J. Simpson), David Schwimmer (Robert Kardashian) and John Travolta (Robert Shapiro) were recognized for their powerhouse performances.

FX earned a record-breaking 56 nominations overall, racking up additional nods for fellow anthology series “Fargo” and “American Horror Story: Hotel,” which is also executive produced by “American Crime Story” bosses Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.

“Working on ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’ has been a career highlight and its own reward, but I am especially moved by the recognition for everyone who devoted their hearts and souls to this project — from our brilliant cast to our amazing writers and directors to the extraordinary producers. We are all incredibly grateful. It’s a happy day,” Murphy said in a statement this morning.

Executive producer Brad Simpson shares Murphy’s sentiment. While speaking alongside his producing partner Nina Jacobson, he told Variety: “Everyone on this show just showed up every day to win in this spectacular way. These long courtroom scenes, it was almost like shooting an Altman film, all these actors just came to support each other. It was really like a family. We’re so grateful the Emmy voters saw the work we all put in.”

Paulson, who was nominated for two Emmys — one for “People v. O.J. Simpson” and another for “American Horror Story” — says that she was more excited for her castmate Brown’s nomination than her own.

“Sterling’s nomination was almost more exciting than my own,” she told Variety in an interview Thursday morning. “I give him credit for anything that I did because he was my partner in every sense of the word every day that we were shooting. Some actors who don’t have immediate name recognition sometimes get passed on, and the fact that he didn’t is a testament to him.”

Looking at all of the nominees, Paulson said, “Sterling’s nomination to me was the great excitement — that and Maisie Williams and Kit Harington.”

Oriana Schwindt contributed to this report.