The FX Network turned a true crime masterpiece into one of last year’s biggest critical and popular television series. So, it’s no surprise the network wants to keep the hits coming.
FX seems to have a bonafide hit television franchise on its hands with American Crime Story, which racked up huge ratings and a boatload of awards for its 2016 debut season, The People v. O.J. Simpson. The 21st Century Fox-owned cable network already has a second and third season in the works for the series—focusing on the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina and serial killer Andrew Cunanan’s murder of designer Gianni Versace, respectively.
Now, series creator Ryan Murphy has reportedly already set his sights on one of the biggest political scandals ever for a potential fourth season of American Crime Story. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy has optioned author Jeffrey Toobin’s 2000 non-fiction bestseller A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President for a potential fourth season that would focus on President Bill Clinton’s sex scandal involving former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
This feels like familiar ground for Murphy and American Crime Story. First of all, the series’ first season was also based on a best-selling book by Toobin, the New Yorker writer’s account of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, The Run of His Life. Also, like the Simpson murder trial, Clinton-Lewinsky scandal was a generation-defining news story in the 1990s that is ripe for revisiting, especially after Clinton’s presidency was such a frequent talking point during the most recent election.
Those similarities could be what drew Murphy to the subject matter, as The People v. O.J. Simpson recently topped off an extremely successful year with two Golden Globe wins, including one for best limited series or TV movie. The show also won five Emmy Awards in September, and it finished 2016 as one of the year’s most-watched cable shows.
The true-crime genre in general has been extremely popular with TV (and podcast) audiences in recent years, with other hit shows including Netflix’s Making a Murderer, HBO’s The Jinx, as well as another O.J. Simpson-focused series (ESPN’s documentary series O.J.: Made in America). And, a vast array of true-crime series is reportedly in the works at several networks. Among them, NBC is set to launch a Law & Order spin-off about the Menendez brothers, who were convicted of murdering their parents in 1996, while CBS is reportedly planning a series based on the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst.
The second and third seasons of Murphy’s American Crime Story anthology series are both expected to debut in 2018, according to THR, which means the possible fourth season would likely not air until 2019. Murphy also has two other anthology series on FX, American Horror Story and Feud, with the first season of the latter set to debut in March.