FX chairman John Landgraf made the announcement Thursday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. Landgraf said that Ryan Murphy is currently directing a feature film and will be unavailable to begin production until late March. Production on the 10-episode season is not slated to end until October. Given the usual length of the post-production process, the show will likely not air its first episode before the election on Nov. 3. When it was first announced back in August, FX had originally planned to air the show beginning in September.
“As for when we’ll schedule it, we don’t know. we have to get into production and see how it goes and how long post- production will be,” Landgraf said. “I guess I would say it’s TBD at this point.”
Season 3 will tell the story of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Beanie Feldstein will star as Monica Lewinsky, with Clive Owen as Bill Clinton, Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp and Annaleigh Ashford as Paula Jones. The season will be based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book “A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President.”
There had been some backlash when the original premiere date was announced, as people felt rehashing the Clinton impeachment story at that time could impact the current election cycle. Landgraf defended the decision at the time, saying that passing judgment on the season so far in advance was “toxic.”
“The idea that we can’t have art, we can’t have nuance is toxic in the media environment,” he said in August. “I believe very, very strongly in the art we’re making. I don’t think ‘Crime Story’ is going to decide the next presidential election. I think that’s a little hysterical from my standpoint. I’m insistent that I’m going to support artists and make great art and put it in the time and place where people are going to watch it.”
The third installment will be written by Sarah Burgess who will also executive produce alongside Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall, and Paulson. Lewinsky will serve as producer along with Feldstein, Henrietta Conrad, and Jemima Khan. Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions will produce.
It had been announced in 2017 that the Clinton impeachment would serve as the basis for a new season of “American Crime Story.” There had also been talk that a season set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina would as well, though it was previously stated that neither of those seasons were moving forward.
The first season of “American Crime Story” followed the principal players in the O.J. Simpson trial, while Season 2 detailed the death of Gianni Versace at the hands of spree killer Andrew Cunanan. Season 1 ultimately received 22 Emmy nominations, winning nine, while Season 2 received 19 Emmy nominations, winning seven.