The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story works for many reasons. Not only are the performances as sharp as can be, but the subject matter, O.J. Simpson's trial for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, captured the country's attention in ways never before seen. Baby boomers lived it, Generation X lived it, Millennials are at the right age to remember tidbits, but not all of it, and younger generations view it as completely vintage.
Season two of Ryan Murphy's new FX anthology will likely focus on Hurricane Katrina and what happened in Louisiana. Yes, the storm was devastating and the planning for it was botched, but it lacks the same sensationalism O.J. Simpson provides. Sadly, there is no shortage of American crime stories for future seasons of American Crime Story. Taking the formula of The People v. O.J. Simpson (a sensational crime that captivated the nation), these are some free ideas for FX to use for future American Crime Story seasons.
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The murder of a young pageant girl predates America's obsession with Toddlers and Tiaras and remains unsolved to this day. The case is full of bizarre twists—remember that ransom note? And then there was John Mark Karr's false confession. The case spans decades and continues to capture America's attention. Suggested star: Sally Field as Patsy Ramsey.
Bush vs. Gore, from the perspective of the Supreme Court
Yes, we already got Recount on HBO, but FX could take another stab at adapting Jeffrey Toobin's The Nine and focus on the inner workings of the Supreme Court as they heard arguments and determined an election. Suggested star: Hey, Natalie Portman's already playing Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a movie...
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Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding
Another 1990s sensational media event, the attack on Nancy Kerrigan by Tonya Harding's people gripped the nation. Harding never actually served jail time for her involvement, but this incident is ripe for American Crime Story to wax poetic about the desire for fame and success and the lengths people go for it. Suggested star: Anne Hathaway as Nancy Kerrigan.
One of the first widely-publicized killer mom cases, Diane Downs was already the subject of a movie of the week starring Farrah Fawcett back in the day. A jury convicted her of murdering one child and attempting to murder her two others. She became pregnant again prior to her arrest and trial and gave birth before her sentencing. The prosecutor on the case later adopted the kids who survived the shooting. Years later she even escaped prison and authorities feared she'd try to harm her children again. She was denied parole twice. ACS could take a real hard look at a diagnosed narcissist here. Suggested star: Sarah Paulson as Diane Downs.
George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin
The way American Crime Story has handled race relations of the time in The People v. O.J. Simpson has been one of the highlights. Perhaps it's too soon to handle the case, but it would be a nice dichotomy of how things have changed—and how much remains the same. Suggested star: Guillermo Diaz as George Zimmerman.
But really, and sadly, we could keep going.