It seems Ryan Murphy has changed his mind about taking on the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton scandal, as it will be the focus of the next season of “American Crime Story” — which will star Sarah Paulson, Beanie Feldstein and Annaleigh Ashford, and is produced by Lewinsky herself — FX Networks and FX Productions chairman John Landgraf said during the Television Critics Association press tour Tuesday.
The third season of the anthology, titled “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” “unravels the national scandal that swept up Paula Jones (played by Ashford), Monica Lewinsky (Feldstein) and Linda Tripp (Paulson) as principal characters in the country’s first impeachment proceedings in over a century.”
Sarah Burgess writes and will executive produce alongside Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall and Sarah Paulson. Lewinsky will serve as producer on “Impeachment,” as will Feldstein, Henrietta Conrad and Jemima Khan.
Production on “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” will begin in February 2019 and the season will premiere Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on FX.
The limited series is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s bestselling book “A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President,” and hails from Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Production.
“FX’s ‘American Crime Story’ franchise has become a cultural touchstone, providing greater context for stories that deserve greater understanding like the O.J. Simpson trial and saga, and Andrew Cunanan’s tragic crime spree which concluded with the assassination of Gianni Versace,” said Landgraf. “This franchise re-examines some of the most complicated, polarizing stories in recent history in a way that is relevant, nuanced and entertaining.
“‘Impeachment: American Crime Story’ will likewise explore the overlooked dimensions of the women who found themselves caught up in the scandal and political war that cast a long shadow over the Clinton Presidency. We are grateful to Sarah Burgess for her brilliant adaptation, as well as Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall, Sarah Paulson and the rest of the creative team and cast.”
Last April, Murphy said he was scrapping the proposed Lewinksy-Clinton-centric installment of “American Crime Story” — which he had originally slated for Season 4 — telling The Hollywood Reporter: “I told [Lewinksy], ‘Nobody should tell your story but you, and it’s kind of gross if they do. If you want to produce it with me, I would love that; but you should be the producer and you should make all the goddamn money.'”
The original plan for Season 3 was a story about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but Landgraf told reporters back in February, “As far as I know, ‘Katrina’ is not still in the mix.”
The first installment of “ACS,” “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” premiere in 2016. The second season, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” aired in 2018. Both seasons were critical darlings.