Cuba Gooding Jr. to Lead First ‘American Crime Story’ Series About O.J. Simpson Trial

By December 10, 2014
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Ryan Murphy is staying pretty busy at Fox with his ongoing “American Horror Story” anthology series and the forthcoming new horror comedy series “Scream Queens,” which just cast Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts in the lead, and he’s about to get even busier.

FX previously announced a new anthology series in the crime drama genre beginning with “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” the story of the infamous murder trial where the football star and actor was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, one of the most well-known trials in modern history.

Here’s the official synopsis of what this first season of the anthology series will cover:

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson is a look at the O.J. Simpson trial told from the perspective of the lawyers that explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution confidence, defense wiliness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Now the network has revealed that Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire, As Good As It Gets) has been set to play O.J. Simpson while Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”) will play prosecutor Marcia Clark, but they’re the only on-screen talents announced so far. This could be just what Gooding Jr. needs to get his career on track.

The series is based on the book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin with Nina Jacobson & Brad Simpson (The Hunger Games), Brad Falchuk (“Glee,” “American Horror Story”), and Dante Di Loreto all serving as executive producers alongside Murphy, who is also directing the series with the first two hours scripted by Alexander and Karaszewski (The People vs. Larry Flynt, Ed Wood, Man on the Moon), who are also executive producing. Whew.

It’ll be interesting to see if this anthology series will be as successful as Murhpy’s “American Horror Story,” and it stands a good chance at pulling an audience by beginning with this high profile trial. Horror is a little more appealing to a general audience than crime, but surely FX is hoping to land that audience who loved HBO’s anthology series “True Detective,” but that’s a pretty tall order to match when it comes to quality.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.