Courtesy of David Buchan/Variety
Ryan Murphy is expanding his television footprint once again, with another installment of the “American Crime Story” franchise (tentatively titled “Studio 54: American Crime Story”) in development at FX, as well as two new limited anthology series, “American Love Story” and “American Sports Story.”
The first installment of “American Love Story” will tell a scripted tale about John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, while the first installment of “American Sports Story” will focus on former NFL player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez.
Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are set to executive produce all of these projects, which come from 20th Television for FX.
“When Ryan Murphy came to us with these two spinoffs and the stories for ‘American Sports Story’ and ‘American Love Story,’ we immediately jumped at the opportunity,” said John Landgraf, chairman of FX, in a statement. “What began with ‘American Horror Story’ has spawned some of the best and most indelible programs of our generation, most notably ‘American Crime Story,’ which created a beautiful partnership between Ryan, Brad, Nina and Brad. Their alchemy and the way in which they construct these stories is done with such care, such clarity and such dimensionality that creates the magnificence that is ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson,’ ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’ and ‘Impeachment.’ We can’t wait to see what comes next.”
Added Dana Walden, chairman of entertainment, Walt Disney Television: “More than a decade ago, Ryan Murphy expressed interest in expanding the ‘American Horror Story’ model to be able to tell different ‘American’ stories, which have long captivated so many of us. It was a brilliant idea. Adding these new installments to the franchise will enable Ryan, Brad, Nina and Brad and their talented teams to tackle riveting stories outside of the horror and crime genres. This group has done a truly amazing job of examining situations we think we know everything about and making us realize that there was so much more there than what we had been told. Many of us at 20th Television, FX and FXP have worked together on this franchise since the very beginning and it has been a privilege. It’s been an incredible partnership and collaboration and we’re looking forward to these new chapters.”
Currently in development, “Studio 54: American Crime Story” will potentially be the fourth installment of the Emmy-winning anthology series. (Whether it does immediately follow “Impeachment,” the third in the series, debuting this September, or gets pushed to later in the schedule likely depends on casting and production schedules, especially amid the ongoing pandemic. “Impeachment” was originally planned to launch a year earlier than it actually is.) This story will follow Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager who, in 1977, turned their midtown Manhattan disco into an international mecca of nightlife. After three years of lavish parties, music, sex and drugs, Rubell and Schrager fell hard when they were convicted of tax fraud.
“American Love Story’s” first installment, currently not-yet subtitled, will show the Kennedys as a young couple that was regarded as American royalty, but also dig into their fracture under the stress of their positions and the worldwide media lens, as well as the pressures of their individual careers and rumored family discord. Murphy, Falchuk, Jacobson, Simpson and Alexis Martin Woodall executive produce.
The first installment in “American Sports Story,” which is designed to be a scripted anthological limited series focusing on a prominent event and/or figure in the sports world, but seen through today’s lens and told through multiple perspectives, is based on the podcast “Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc” from the Boston Globe and Wondery. It will therefore examine the “rise and fall” of Hernandez, including looking into his identity, his family, his career, his death and his legacy. Stu Zicherman writes and executive produces. As aforementioned, Murphy, Falchuk, Jacobson and Simpson also executive produce alongside Martin Woodall, Wondery’s Hernan Lopez and Marshall Lewy of Wondery and The Boston Globe’s Linda Pizutti Henry and Ira Napoliello.
Murphy is represented by CAA and Craig Emanuel of Paul Hastings. Jacobson and Simpson are represented by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham. Zicherman is represented by UTA, Mosaic and McKuin Frankel.
Other projects from this team for 20th and FX include “American Horror Story,” which debuts its 10th season (subtitled “Double Feature”) on Aug. 25, and “American Horror Stories,” which launched its first episodic anthology season earlier this summer and airs its finale episode on Aug. 19 (on FX on Hulu).
Variety's Danielle Turchiano contributed to this post.