The O.J. Simpson trial is coming back to a television near you—again.
More than two decades after the former football player and entertainment personality was acquitted following a double-murder trial, nostalgia over the “Trial of the Century” has thrust Simpson’s infamous story back into the TV spotlight. While FX network’s popular series, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, is currently averaging between 2.5 and 3 million viewers weekly, multiple other cable networks are in the process of launching their own series revolving around the Simpson case.
The latest? Investigation Discovery channel, owned by Discovery Communications (DISCA), announced Thursday that its own series, called Hard Evidence: O.J. Is Innocent and executive produced by actor Martin Sheen, will air on the network starting early-2017. Sheen, who also serves as narrator, had reportedly been backing a group shopping around the six-episode non-fiction series based on the 2012 book by private investigator William Dear, O.J. Is Innocent and I Can Prove It.
The network said on Thursday that an “undiscovered eyewitness” and even “a possible new suspect” in the 1994 slayings of Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Simpson, and Ron Goldman.
“The series intends to explore three question,” Sheen said in a statement. “What if there were enough evidence that proved O.J. Simpson did not murder his ex-wife Nicole or RonGoldman? What if the real killer were still at large? And finally, what if a grand jury convened to reconsider the case based on new evidence?”
By presuming Simpson’s potential innocence, the Investigation Discovery series is approaching the story of Simpson (now imprisoned on separate felony charges) from a different angle than the FX series, a dramatized program that wades deeply into the extensive physical evidence submitted by state prosecutors during the 1995 trial. Meanwhile, before Sheen’s series even hits the air, ESPN will debut its own documentary series based on Simpson’s career and the murder trial in June, called O.J. Simpson: Made in America.
A variety of true crime series have earned massive popularity in recent years, from Netflix’s (NFLX) Making A Murderer to HBO’s The Jinx. Now, multiple networks are banking on O.J. Simpson, and a trial that riveted TV-watchers twenty years ago, to tap into America’s current true crime obsession and result in ratings gold once again.