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BBC Acquires ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’ for the U.K.

The BBC has acquired FX’s anthology series “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” for the U.K. The second season of “American Crime Story” will air on BBC Two in 2018.

The channel also aired the show’s award-winning first season, “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” which was widely acclaimed by British critics. The follow-up, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” follows the events surrounding the death of the legendary fashion designer in the summer of 1997. Edgar Ramirez stars as Versace, with Oscar-winner Penelope Cruz (pictured) playing Donatella Versace, Darren Criss as serial killer Andrew Cunanan and Ricky Martin as Versace’s partner, Antonio D’Amico.

“With ‘The People vs. O.J. Simpson,’ the brilliant Ryan Murphy and his team crafted a unique and utterly compelling television event which managed to get the nation talking once more about one of the biggest cases in history,” said Sue Deeks, head of BBC program acquisition. “It is with great anticipation that we welcome the next installment of the ‘American Crime Story’ franchise.”

“The People vs. O.J. Simpson” proved a critical and ratings hit for BBC Two when it aired in Britain between February and April 2016. The opening episode attracted 2.44 million viewers and was BBC Two’s fourth-highest-rated show for that week. The final episode drew 1.85 million viewers, about the same that tuned in to the final episode of the channel’s recent season of “Top Gear.”

In May it won BAFTA’s British Academy Television Award for best international show, beating out Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” HBO’s “The Night Of” and Amazon’s “Transparent.”

The new series is written by Tom Rob Smith, with the opening episode directed by showrunner Ryan Murphy. Murphy and Smith both serve as executive producers alongside Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and Brad Falchuk.

BBC Two had already acquired FX’s “Katrina: American Crime Story” in April, which had originally been expected to be ready before “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” In June, FX announced that the Versace story would air first.

“American Crime Story” is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions, and is distributed by 20th Century Fox Television Distribution.

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