The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story
The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story is the first season of the FX true crime anthology television series American Crime Story. The season, which debuted on February 2, 2016, revolves around the O. J. Simpson murder case and is based on Jeffrey Toobin's book The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson (1997).
|The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Original release||February 2 –|
April 5, 2016
The season received critical acclaim, with praise for most of the performances, directing and writing. For the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, the season received 22 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, in 13 categories, winning nine, more than any other show, including Outstanding Limited Series. It also won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Miniseries or Television Film and Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film for Sarah Paulson.
Cast and charactersEdit
- Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden
- Kenneth Choi as Judge Lance Ito
- Christian Clemenson as Bill Hodgman
- Cuba Gooding Jr. as O. J. Simpson
- Bruce Greenwood as Gil Garcetti
- Nathan Lane as F. Lee Bailey
- Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark
- David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian
- John Travolta as Robert Shapiro
- Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran
- Jonelle Allen as Mom Darden (2 episodes)
- Paolo Andino as Lawyer #2 (2 episodes)
- Chuck Ashworth as Bailiff/Police Officer (6 episodes)
- Isabella Balbi as Kourtney Kardashian (4 episodes)
- Morgan E. Bastin as Khloe Kardashian (4 episodes)
- Chris Bauer as Detective Tom Lange (5 episodes)
- Susan Beaubian as Armanda Cooley/Juror (7 episodes)
- Nicolas Joseph Bechtel as Rob Kardashian (4 episodes)
- David H. Bickford as Michael Baden (2 episodes)
- Selma Blair as Kris Jenner (3 episodes)
- Corey Blevins as Divorce Lawyer (2 episodes)
- Christopher Boyer as Santa Claus/Juror (5 episodes)
- Jordana Brewster as Denise Brown (5 episodes)
- Connie Britton as Faye Resnick (2 episodes)
- Cocoa Brown as Queen Bee/Juror (5 episodes)
- Garrett M. Brown as Louis Hezekiel Brown (5 episodes)
- Perry L. Brown as Easter Island/Juror (7 episodes)
- Christiann Marie Castellanos as Marcia's Assistant (2 episodes)
- Christopher Michael Conner as Jeffrey Toobin (6 episodes)
- Diana Daves as Golden Girl/Juror (5 episodes)
- Kelly Lynn Dowdle as Nicole Brown Simpson (3 episodes)
- David M. Edelstien as West Side Guy #1 (2 episodes)
- Ethan Flower as Patrol Officer Robert Riske (2 episodes)
- Toni French as Mourner/Receptionist (2 episodes)
- Bonita Friedericy as Patti Goldman (2 episodes)
- Veronica Galvez as Kim Kardashian (4 episodes)
- Roslyn Gentle as The Demon/Juror (7 episodes)
- Angela Elayne Gibbs as Barbara Cochran (2 episodes)
- Dale Godboldo as Carl E. Douglas (9 episodes)
- Michael Graham as Deputy OJ (5 episodes)
- Kelsey Griswold as Dominique Brown (6 episodes)
- Rio Del Valle Hackford as Pat McKenna (3 episodes)
- Evan Handler as Alan Dershowitz (4 episodes)
- Jessica Blair Herman as Kim Goldman (7 episodes)
- Paul Hansen Kim, Jr. as Henry Lee (2 episodes)
- Marcus Walker Hogan as Press Reporter/Shocked TV Viewer (2 episodes)
- Cary Huff as Protestor (2 episodes)
- Ariel Diane King as Arnelle L. Simpson (9 episodes)
- Larry King as himself (4 episodes)
- Claude Lacasse Knowlton as Doctor (3 episodes)
- Jacob Stephen Milo Koeppl as Ron Goldman (2 episodes)
- Cheryl Ladd as Linell Shapiro (4 episodes)
- Jun Hee Lee as Dennis Fung (3 episodes)
- Brad C. Light as D.A. Lawyer (2 episodes)
- John Paul Lorello as Sheriff Deputy Henderson (3 episodes)
- Rachelle Lynn as Juror (6 episodes)
- Billy Magnussen as Kato Kaelin (3 episodes)
- Mary Anne McGarry as Juditha Anne Baur Brown (6 episodes)
- Michael McGrady as Detective Phillip Vannatter (5 episodes)
- Stephanie McVay as Linda (2 episodes)
- Brandon Morales as Arresting Cop (2 episodes)
- Rob Morrow as Barry Scheck (6 episodes)
- Robert Morse as Dominick Dunne (6 episodes)
- Angel Parker as Shawn Chapman (8 episodes)
- Steven Pasquale as Detective Mark Fuhrman (5 episodes)
- Andrew Patrick Ralston as Dr. Saul Faerstein (2 episodes)
- Kwame Patterson as Michael Darden (2 episodes)
- Jeris Lee Poindexter as Watson Calhoun/Juror (7 episodes)
- Asia Monet Ray as Sydney Brooke Simpson (4 episodes)
- Leonard Roberts as Dennis Schatzman (7 episodes)
- Romy Rosemont as Jill Shively (2 episodes)
- Valerie Ross as Eunice "Mama" Durden Simpson (4 episodes)
- Lorena Martinez Santos as Hispanic Juror (3 episodes)
- Sam Sarpong as Byron (2 episodes)
- Ehsan Shahidi as Justin Ryan Simpson (3 episodes)
- Keesha Sharp as Dale Cochran (6 episodes)
- China Shavers as Shirley Simpson (5 episodes)
- Duane R. Shepard Sr. as Mr. Darden (2 episodes)
- Joseph Siravo as Fred Goldman (7 episodes)
- Virginia Louise Smith as Francine Florio-Bunten/Juror (5 episodes)
- Andreas Boston Stergis as West Side Guy #2 (2 episodes)
- Finn Sweeney as Trevor Clark (2 episodes)
- Laura Vallejo as Reporter (2 episodes)
- Noree Victoria as En Vogue/Juror/Tracy (5 episodes)
- Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Al Cowlings (4 episodes)
- Maurice Webster as Darrell (2 episodes)
- Hudson West as Travis Clark (3 episodes)
- Tye White as Jason L. Simpson (9 episodes)
- David Wieler as Assistant District Attorney (2 episodes)
- Paul Williams as Attorney (4 episodes)
- Cassius Willis as Speed (Michael Knox)/Juror (5 episodes)
- Jenna Willis as Tanya Brown (7 episodes)
- Devon Abner as White Man
- Joe Abraham as Editor #2
- Roy Abramsohn as TV Reporter #2
- Walter Addison as Preliminary Judge
- Alex Alcheh as White Teenager
- Fernando Aldaz as Commentator #1
- Chelsea Alden as Kato's Fan #1
- Mma-Syrai Alek as Tiffany Cochran
- Steven Allen as White Bullhorn Guy
- Iris Almario as TV Interviewer
- Abraham Amkpa as Black Man #2
- Rachel Andersen as Woman at Law Office
- Nicola Ross Anderson as Gorgeous Girl #1
- Marissa Armijo as Commentator #4
- Nicholas Jerome Baga as Kato's Hater #1
- Christopher Baskerville as Nosy Neighbor
- Dan Bauer as Cashier
- James Bearb, Jr. as Focus Group Man
- Cecilia Benevich as Call Center Operator
- Stefon Benson as Pizza Man
- Tom Beyer as Paparazzo
- Shelly Bhalla as Executive #1
- Vincent Michael Biscione as News Cameraman
- Peggy Ann Blow as Rosa Lopez
- Bryant C. Thomas Boon as Network President
- Carlos Bosch as Reporter
- Natane Adcock Boudreau as Reporter 1
- Jeffrey Bowser as LA TV Director
- Michael Sean Broderick as Male Reporter
- S. Zylan Brooks as Lawyer #1
- Greg Bryan as Sheriff #2
- Tayler Buck as Melodie Cochran
- Shannon McNulty Burwell as Woman #1
- Andrew Walter Butler as Customer #3
- Joseph Buttler as Polygraph Examiner
- Brian Richard Byrnes as Gordon Clark
- Cher Calvin as herself
- Daniel Capellaro as Press Reporter
- Vianessa Castaños as Make-Up Lady
- Carlos Javier Castillo as Employee #2
- Cullen G. Chambers as Dominick Dunne's Butler
- Claudia Choi as Woman in Suit
- Greg Collins as Sheriff's Deputy
- Amiée Conn as Kato's Fan #2
- Courtney Cook as Jo-Ellan Dimitrius
- David Cooley as SWAT 2
- Ben Cornish as Cop #1
- Marlon Correa as Cop
- Carolyn Reese Crotty as Mrs. Ito
- Tiffany Daniels as TV Reporter
- Stacie Nichole Davis as Commentator #8
- Linda DeMetrick as Socialite Woman #2
- Venus DeMilo as Commentator #2
- Will Deutsch as Lawyer #3
- David Donah as News Reporter
- Ashley Donigan as Commentator #6
- Thai Douglas as Sergeant
- Megan Kathleen Duffy as Waitress
- India Dupré as Focus Group Woman
- Kyle Einsohn as Computer Kid
- Sonya Leigh English as Hostess #2
- Robin Ensley as Bar Patron
- William S. Epps as Preacher
- Mel Fair as Reporter 2
- Chris Flanders as Sheriff #1
- Tracy Fraim as Allen Edwards
- Ashlee Armella Füss as Girlfriend
- Jennifer Say Gan as Reporter #2
- David Goldman as Reporter #1
- Suzanne Gutierrez-Hedges as Woman #2
- Jamison Joel Haase as Negotiator
- Josh Hallman as Young Cop
- Marilyn Anita Harris as Elderly Black Woman
- Ricky Harris as Black Bullhorn Protestor
- Carmen Hayward-Stetson as Black Woman #1
- Nikki Alexis Howard as Gorgeous Girl #2
- Ashley Holliday as Commentator #7
- Steve Humphreys as Officer
- Dana Hunt as Customer #4
- Michael Hyland as Executive #2
- Farley Jackson as Kato's Hater #2
- Matthew 'Catfish' Jean as Black Man #1
- Dondraico L. Johnson as Commentator #3
- Clint Jordan as Michael Viner
- Kenny Kelleher as TV Reporter
- Brian Konowal as White Guy
- Patrick Labyorteaux as Mike Walker
- David Harvard Lawrence XVII as NY TV Director
- Jennifer Birmingham Lee as Dolly Sugarman
- Ken Lerner as Howard Weitzman
- Dan Payson Lewis as Young Cop
- Chi-Lan Lieu as Reporter #2
- Bill Lippincott as Detective
- June Lomena as Black Woman #2
- Albert Malafronte as Donald Vinson
- George Thomas Mansel as LAPD Officer
- Jeffrey Markle as Gordon's Lawyer
- Marc Marosi as Network Executive
- Alma Martinez as Family Court Judge
- Shannon McClung as Roger Sandler
- Judith McConnell as Socialite Woman #1
- Shawn 'Hazz' McDonald as Driver #9
- Rocky McMurray as Commander
- Rick Messina as Lawyer #4
- Orianna Herrman Milne as Waitress
- Amy Moorman as Clerk
- Marguerite Moreau as Laura Hart McKinny
- Marcos Najera as Employee #1
- Michael Nardelli as Boyfriend
- Judy Nazemetz as Focus Group Woman
- Margaret Newborn as Lawyer
- Rob Norton as SWAT Officer
- Brian Oblak as Motorcycle Cop
- Jonny Ortiz as Cartel
- Jenna Osterlund as Madonna Club Goer
- Thomas V. Owen as Restaurant Manager
- Jesse Owens as Bailiff #2
- Corey Mendell Parker as DJ Todd
- Brandon Parrish as Newspaper Reporter
- Angela Jade Patterson as Paula Barbieri
- Kelly Pendygraft as Assistant District Attorney
- Joseph Piccuirro as Cop
- Evan Michael Pinsonnault as Reporter #3
- Lauren Z. Ray as Reporter #1
- Nate Reese as News Vendor
- Christine Frances Schmidt Robert as Assistant District Attorney
- Ronald Roggé as Security Guard
- Romy Rosemont as Jill Shively
- Jay Ruby as Commentator #5
- Natalie Salins as Executive #3
- Jabari Simba as Focus Group Member #5
- Alexis Simpson as Editor #1
- Jessica J. Stowes as Black Teenager
- Jonathan Strait as Newsroom Host
- Michael Edward Thomas as Neighbor Man #3
- Brandon Van Vliet as Time Magazine Art Department
- Daniel Weiss as KCOP Cameraman
- Beau Wirick as Allan Park
- Sanyee Yuan as Hostess #1
- Justin C. Zachary as Kato's Pal
- Galen Maximilian Zarou as Man In Suit
- Benjamin Zelevansky as Dog Walker
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||1||"From the Ashes of Tragedy"||Ryan Murphy||Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski||February 2, 2016||1WAX01||5.12|
|On the morning of June 13, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman are found stabbed to death outside Brown's Brentwood, Los Angeles condominium. Brown's ex-husband, NFL player, broadcaster, and actor O. J. Simpson, becomes a person of interest. Deputy district attorney Marcia Clark takes the case, discovering that Simpson physically assaulted Brown multiple times in the past. As African-American defense attorney Johnnie Cochran challenges Christopher Darden for not standing up for his race as a prosecutor, the LAPD questions Simpson, who gives vague responses and fails to establish a timeline for the day prior to the murders. Clark becomes further convinced that Simpson is guilty while Robert Kardashian talks Simpson into hiring litigator Robert Shapiro as his new attorney. At Kardashian’s house, Kardashian finds a suicidal Simpson with a gun and attempts to calm him down. The LAPD arrives to turn Simpson in. When both parties discover that Simpson is missing, Kardashian realizes he has escaped with childhood friend Al Cowlings in his white Ford Bronco.|
|2||2||"The Run of His Life"||Ryan Murphy||Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski||February 9, 2016||1WAX02||3.90|
|In the aftermath of Simpson's disappearance, District Attorney Gil Garcetti issues a statewide manhunt while Shapiro and Kardashian discover Simpson's suicide letter. Shapiro then holds a press conference to save face, with Kardashian reading the letter to the press. A driver on the I-405 spots Simpson in his Ford Bronco and notifies the LAPD, leading to a low-speed chase that dominates the airwaves. Simpson orders Cowlings to drive him to Brentwood and prepares to kill himself when Kardashian calls him and asks that he quietly surrender. Simpson complies and emerges from the car before being taken into custody for the murders.|
|3||3||"The Dream Team"||Anthony Hemingway||Daniel Vincent DeVincentis||February 16, 2016||1WAX03||3.34|
|With Simpson now in custody, Shapiro begins assembling his defense team, while Clark confirms to the media that Simpson is to be prosecuted for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, which means he is eligible for the death penalty. Clark also reveals the evidence, the glove, and the blood trail to the media, leading most of the media (and Clark herself) to believe that the case will be an easy win. A controversial issue of TIME magazine featuring a darkened image of Simpson on the cover raises issues of racism among the media. Shapiro signs F. Lee Bailey first onto the team, who recommends bringing aboard Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz mentions they could argue that the DNA found at the crime scene could have been tampered with, and this is later made the main defense after it is revealed that Mark Fuhrman, the LAPD detective who found the glove that is key to the prosecution's case, has frequently made racist comments during his career. Deciding to go with the argument that the LAPD is systemically racist and has framed Simpson for racist reasons, Shapiro talks to a reporter from The New Yorker, who publishes it as a front-page story. Simpson, after meeting with Shapiro, Bailey, and Kardashian, reluctantly agrees to bring aboard Cochran as the final member of his defense team. Meanwhile, the prosecution is forced to move onto the attack for the trial after most of the key evidence is leaked to the media, and they panic over Shapiro's plan for the defense.|
|4||4||"100% Not Guilty"||Anthony Hemingway||Maya Forbes & Wallace Wolodarsky and|
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
|February 23, 2016||1WAX04||3.00|
|Simpson's "dream team" bears down on the trial, with Shapiro adopting a strategy of barricading and objecting to every motion the prosecution attempts. However, the defense suffers from dissent in the ranks, as Shapiro begins making desperate efforts to remain the lead defense attorney, despite Cochran's being clearly more qualified for the position as the defense increasingly begins to lean more on racial tension. Eventually, Bailey, Cochran, and Kardashian stage a minor coup while Shapiro is on vacation, and convince Simpson to endorse Cochran as the lead attorney. Lance Ito is called to preside over the trial, and the process of jury selection begins, with both sides seeking a racial composition favorable to their own agenda. While both Clark and Cochran are correct that whites are biased against Simpson and black men are biased in his favor, they each have their own respective theories about why black women would be unsympathetic to him: Cochran believes they would resent Simpson for marrying a white woman, while Clark believes they would be sympathetic to Nicole as a battered woman. However, this theorizing proves inaccurate when all potential black female jurors align with Simpson as much as their male counterparts. Clark is also forced to confront the fact that she herself is singularly uncharismatic to jurors of all demographics. Adding to the media circus surrounding the case is a book published by Faye Resnick, detailing Brown Simpson's lifestyle and relationship to Simpson, and detracting more potential evidence from the trial itself. With Clark and her team realizing the case is not the easy win they initially thought it would be, she and Garcetti decide that the only possible buffer against the charismatic and beloved Cochran is to add a black lawyer to the prosecution. She calls on Christopher Darden, and he joins the prosecution team, surprising the defense.|
|5||5||"The Race Card"||John Singleton||Joe Robert Cole||March 1, 2016||1WAX05||2.73|
|The Simpson murder trial begins when in his first contribution to the prosecution, Darden attempts to sway the jury from any racist implications of the case. His wording backfires severely when Cochran delivers a fiery and moving rebuttal, humiliating the prosecutors. Clark also assigns Darden to interview Mark Fuhrman and coach him on how to speak during the trial as a credible witness. Darden gets a bad feeling about Fuhrman, strongly suspecting him to be the latent racist suggested by his murky history, but Clark disregards his suspicions, leaving him increasingly conflicted about his role in the case. Meanwhile, Cochran redecorates Simpson's home, re-imagining him as being more proud and in touch with his African American identity, for a tour by the jury. After the defense springs a surprise and illegal move by introducing new witnesses, William Hodgman suffers a panic attack and faints in court. Clark nominates Darden to replace him as the co-leading prosecutor. A new obstacle emerges to the prosecution, unbeknownst to Clark when Darden's suspicions are confirmed and Fuhrman is shown to have a collection of Nazi memorabilia.|
|6||6||"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia"||Ryan Murphy||Daniel Vincent DeVincentis||March 8, 2016||1WAX06||3.00|
|Clark is going through a bitter divorce. The media criticizes her attitude and appearance and she becomes overwhelmed by her sudden celebrity status. Television networks interrupt their daytime programming for coverage of the trial. Darden and Clark bond at the office after-hours with drinks and dancing. A reporter from the Los Angeles Times confronts Cochran about alleged past domestic violence against his first wife. Clark decides to get a haircuit in response to the media's criticism of her, but it is not well received. Bailey cross-examines Fuhrman, asking him if he has ever used the word nigger in the last ten years, which Fuhrman strongly denies. Darden consoles Clark, who bemoans finding herself being turned into a public personality like the defense lawyers.|
|7||7||"Conspiracy Theories"||Anthony Hemingway||Daniel Vincent DeVincentis||March 15, 2016||1WAX07||2.89|
|Shapiro tries to convince others to agree to a plea deal. Kardashian finds himself unable to believe Simpson's story because of the lack of any other suspects. Clark travels to Oakland with Darden for a friend's birthday, showing the increasing closeness between them both. Simpson tries on the gloves (found at the scene of the crime). After he seemingly struggles to put on the gloves, it appears that they are too small.|
|8||8||"A Jury in Jail"||Anthony Hemingway||Joe Robert Cole||March 22, 2016||1WAX08||2.91|
|The members on the jury start to go stir-crazy and deal with cabin fever during sequestration. A few of them are excused for lying on the questionnaire or having connections with Simpson in strange ways. The defense and counsel begin to focus on getting alternates who they are sure would vote favorably at the end of the trial. After the glove debacle, everyone assumes that Simpson is not guilty but when Clark fiercely presents the DNA evidence in court, doubts arise again. Even the ever-faithful Kardashian begins to suspect Simpson's story while Cochran and Shapiro seem unconcerned with this.|
|9||9||"Manna from Heaven"||Anthony Hemingway||Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski||March 29, 2016||1WAX09||2.76|
|Simpson's attorneys uncover tapes of Fuhrman recounting horrifying stories of torturing, murdering and framing black suspects for fun. It emerges that one of the people Fuhrman attacks in those tapes is his own superior, police Captain Peggy York, who also happens to be Judge Ito's wife, and a mistrial is barely avoided. The tapes are released, Fuhrman takes the stand and further incriminates himself by refusing to answer any more questions, much to the dismay of Clark.|
|10||10||"The Verdict"||Ryan Murphy||Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski||April 5, 2016||1WAX10||3.27|
|On the last day of proceedings, Simpson declines to take the stand and instead makes a brief statement, maintaining his innocence and expressing his yearning for the trial to end and to return to his family. Following four hours of deliberation, the jury delivers a not guilty verdict, prompting rejoicing and shock across the country. Simpson returns to civilian life only to enter a society that perceives him as a different person than he was before the trial; some, primarily his family, Cowlings, and new people he has never seen before, welcome him home with open arms, but his old friends have severed all ties with him, he is ostracised by his neighbors, and establishments he used to frequent, such as his favorite restaurant, are refusing his custom. During a celebration party, Simpson sees Kardashian abandon him. A saddened and lonely Simpson goes into the backyard, where he gazes at a life-size statue of himself in his prime.|
On October 7, 2014, it was announced that FX had ordered a 10-episode season of American Crime Story, developed by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, and executive produced by Alexander and Karaszewski, as well as Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, who co-created such series as Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story, and Scream Queens. Murphy also directed the pilot episode. Other executive producers are Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson. Co-executive producers are Anthony Hemingway and D. V. DeVincentis. All 10 episodes were expected to be written by Alexander and Karaszewski. The series was previously in development at Fox but since moved to the company's sibling cable network FX.
Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sarah Paulson were the first to be cast as Simpson and Marcia Clark, respectively. Subsequently, David Schwimmer was cast as Robert Kardashian. In January 2015, it was reported that John Travolta had joined the cast as Robert Shapiro; he would also serve as producer. In February 2015, Courtney B. Vance joined the series as Johnnie Cochran. In March 2015, it was announced that Connie Britton would co-star as Faye Resnick. April 2015 saw the casting of Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden, Jordana Brewster as Denise Brown, and Kenneth Choi as Judge Lance Ito. In May 2015, it was confirmed Selma Blair would be portraying Kris Kardashian Jenner. In July 2015, it was announced Nathan Lane had joined the cast as F. Lee Bailey.
In October 2015, FX released its first promotional trailer for The People v. O. J. Simpson, showing an Akita dog whining, walking from its residence onto a sidewalk to bark, then walking back to its residence, leaving behind bloody paw prints. Later that month another teaser was released, wherein the first actual footage of Travolta as Shapiro was shown. In the teaser, Shapiro is about to ask Simpson (whose face is unseen) if he is responsible for the murder of Simpson's ex-wife. In the next short teaser that was released, Simpson (again unseen) is taking a lie detector test.
In November, two new teasers were released. The first shows Simpson writing his attempted suicide letter, while a voice-over by Gooding, Jr. narrates. The second shows the police chasing Simpson's white Ford Bronco, while dozens of fans cheer for him.
The first full trailer was released in December, along with a poster for the season. The trailer included Simpson sitting in the childhood bedroom of Kim Kardashian and contemplating suicide while Robert Kardashian tries to stop him.
The first season of American Crime Story received acclaim from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the season an approval rating of 96%, based on 79 reviews, with an average rating of 8.73/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story brings top-shelf writing, directing, and acting to bear on a still-topical story while shedding further light on the facts—and provoking passionate responses along the way." On Metacritic, the season has a score of 90 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "universal acclaim."
Many critics singled out many cast members for the performances, particularly Paulson and Vance. Dan Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter praised the performances of Paulson and Vance, writing: "As Clark's discomfort grows, Paulson's collection of tics seem more and more human, [...] Vance's Cochran is sometimes hilarious, but he has a dynamic range such that he's occasionally introspective and always intelligent as well." Brian Lowry of Variety praised the casting of the smaller roles, particularly Connie Britton as Faye Resnick and Nathan Lane as F. Lee Bailey.
Despite the praise for the rest of the cast, Travolta and Gooding's respective portrayals of Shapiro and Simpson have been met with mixed reviews by critics. Brian Lowry of Variety called Travolta "awful" in the role, adding: "Yes, Shapiro spoke in stiff, measured tones, but the actor's overly mannered line readings turn the attorney into a buffoon, in sharp contrast to the more nuanced portrayals around him." Nicole Jones of Vanity Fair called his performance "campy and calculated." Dan Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter also criticized his performance, calling it "a mesmerizingly bad performance from the eyebrows down." He also wrote that "His unnecessary accent varies by episode, and Travolta's laser intensity feels arch and almost kabuki at times, turning Shapiro into a terrifying character from the next American Horror Story installment, rather than a part of this ensemble."
Maureen Ryan of Vanity Fair, conversely, became more impressed with Travolta as the season progressed: "I started in the realm of puzzled disbelief, arrived at amusement, and ultimately traveled to a place of sincere appreciation. You simply can't take your eyes off Travolta, and that is a form of enchantment." Elisabeth Garber-Paul of Rolling Stone also called it "arguably [Travolta's] best performance since Tarantino brought him back from the dead." Robert Bianco of USA Today wrote that Travolta's was the show's "broadest performance."
Dave Schilling of The Guardian panned Gooding's performance, writing: "his whiny, gravely voice sounds absolutely nothing like the real O. J. Simpson's deep, commanding tones." Michael Starr of New York Post also was highly critical of Gooding's performance, saying that he "portrays Simpson as a hollow, sad-sack cipher who speaks in a high-pitched whine and sleepwalks in a fog he never shakes after being arrested for the brutal double murder of ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. He's a forgettable, annoying presence in what should be a showcase role for Gooding—who, to be fair, is reciting lines written for him, so he can only do so much with the material."
On the other hand, Joe McGovern was more positive on Gooding's performance, writing that his casting "takes a risk and pulls it off." Elisabeth Garber-Paul of Rolling Stone described his performance as "an unnervingly believable take on a potential psychopath with teetering sanity." Nick Venable of Cinema Blend also opined that Gooding's turn as Simpson "could indeed get him on a shortlist of Emmy nominees."
In spite of the mixed reviews on their performances, Gooding and Travolta received Emmy nominations. Additionally, Travolta was among the recipients for Outstanding Limited Series, being one of the show's producers. Gooding's Emmy nomination for his work on the series was criticized by some reviewers.
Reaction from individuals involvedEdit
Mark Fuhrman, who is portrayed by Steven Pasquale, refused to watch the series and called his portrayal untruthful. In an interview with New York Post, he said, "The last 20 years, I have watched the facts dismissed by the media, journalists and the public simply because it does not fit within the politically correct narrative. At this late date, FX is attempting to establish a historical artifact with this series without reaching out to any prosecution sources. In a time when Americans read less and less and investigative journalism is on vacation, it is sad that this movie will be the historical word on this infamous trial. After all, it was 'based on a true story.'"
Marcia Clark praised the series and called Sarah Paulson's portrayal of her "phenomenal." During an interview on The Wendy Williams Show, Clark admitted that she watched the series with friends "to keep me from jumping off the balcony", and that she was emotionally unable to watch the series' recreation of Fuhrman's testimony. Clark also said her sons were only able to watch the first episode. Clark went to the Emmys with Sarah Paulson, who won that night for her performance.
The families of Brown and Goldman expressed anger at the show. Nicole Brown's sister, Tanya Brown, lashed out at the cast members for what she saw as a lack of consultation with the families. Ron Goldman's father, Fred Goldman, had numerous criticisms of the series even though they were portrayed sympathetically. He felt that there was not enough material about Ron, who is only depicted on the show as a corpse. He expressed concern that the generations of people who were too young to understand the events at the time would consider everything to be accurate. Goldman's family also criticized the series for not depicting the murders, as they believe that Goldman died trying to save Brown from her attacker and that he was the man who eyewitnesses heard shouting that night. Goldman's sister, Kim, criticised the series for sympathetic portrayals of Simpson and Kardashian (despite the latter in real life having actual doubts about the former's innocence).
|1||"From the Ashes of Tragedy"||February 2, 2016||2.0||5.11||1.6||3.86||3.6||8.97|
|2||"The Run of His Life"||February 9, 2016||1.5||3.89||1.9||4.37||3.4||8.26|
|3||"The Dream Team"||February 16, 2016||1.3||3.33||1.6||3.45||2.9||6.78|
|4||"100% Not Guilty"||February 23, 2016||1.3||2.99||1.4||3.35||2.7||6.34|
|5||"The Race Card"||March 1, 2016||1.1||2.72||2.0||4.28||3.1||7.00|
|6||"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia"||March 8, 2016||1.2||3.00 ||1.8||4.03||3.0||7.03|
|7||"Conspiracy Theories"||March 15, 2016||1.2||2.89 ||1.7||3.88||2.9||6.77|
|8||"A Jury in Jail"||March 22, 2016||1.2||2.91||1.3||3.01||2.5||5.92|
|9||"Manna from Heaven"||March 29, 2016||1.1||2.76||1.8||3.99||2.9||6.75|
|10||"The Verdict"||April 5, 2016||1.3||3.27||1.6||3.51||2.9||6.78|
|2016||BET Awards 2016|
|Best Actor||Courtney B. Vance||Nominated|
|68th Primetime Emmy Awards|
|Outstanding Limited Series||The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story||Won|
|Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie||Courtney B. Vance||Won|
|Cuba Gooding Jr.||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie||Sarah Paulson||Won|
|Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie||Sterling K. Brown||Won|
|Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special||Ryan Murphy (for "From the Ashes of Tragedy")||Nominated|
|John Singleton (for "The Race Card")||Nominated|
|Anthony Hemingway (for "Manna from Heaven")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special||Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski (for "From the Ashes of Tragedy")||Nominated|
|Joe Robert Cole (for "The Race Card")||Nominated|
|D. V. DeVincentis (for "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia")||Won|
|68th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards|
|Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special||Jeanne McCarthy, Nicole Abellera Hallman, Courtney Bright, and Nicole Daniels||Won|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie||Nelson Cragg (for "From the Ashes of Tragedy")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Costumes for a Period/Fantasy Series, Limited Series, or Movie||Hala Bahmet, Marina Ray, and Elinor Bardach (for "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Hairstyling for a Limited Series or Movie||Chris Clark, Natalie Driscoll, Shay Sanford-Fong, and Katrina Chevalier||Won|
|Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or Movie (Non-Prosthetic)||Eryn Krueger Mekash, Zoe Hay, Heather Plott, Deborah Huss Humphries, Luis Garcia, and Becky Cotton||Nominated|
|Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or Movie||Adam Penn (for "From the Ashes of Tragedy")||Nominated|
|C. Chi-Yoon Chung (for "The Race Card")||Won|
|Stewart Schill (for "The Verdict")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or Movie||Doug Andham, Joe Earle, and John Bauman (for "From the Ashes of Tragedy")||Won|
|32nd TCA Awards|
|Program of the Year||The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story||Won|
|Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials||Won|
|Individual Achievement in Drama||Sarah Paulson||Won|
|Courtney B. Vance||Nominated|
|7th Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Movie/Limited Series||The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story||Won|
|Best Actor in a Movie/Limited Series||Courtney B. Vance||Won|
|Cuba Gooding Jr.||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Movie/Limited Series||Sarah Paulson||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Limited Series||Sterling K. Brown||Won|
|2017||74th Golden Globe Awards||Best Limited Series or Television Film||The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story||Won|
|Best Actor – Limited Series or Television Film||Courtney B. Vance||Nominated|
|Best Actress – Limited Series or Television Film||Sarah Paulson||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited Series, or Television Film||Sterling K. Brown||Nominated|
|21st Satellite Awards||Best Miniseries or Television Film||The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story||Won|
|Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film||Courtney B. Vance||Nominated|
|Cuba Gooding Jr.||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film||Sarah Paulson||Won|
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Long Form – Adapted||Scott Alexander, Joe Robert Cole, D.V. DeVincentis, Maya Forbes, Larry Karaszewski, and Wally Wolodarsky||Won|
|American Film Institute Awards 2016||Top 10 Television Programs||The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story||Won|
|23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series||Sterling K. Brown||Nominated|
|Courtney B. Vance||Nominated|
|Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series||Sarah Paulson||Won|
|ACE Eddie Awards 2017||Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television||Adam Penn, Stewart Schill and C. Chi-yoon Chung (for "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia")||Nominated|
|21st Art Directors Guild Awards||Excellence in Production Design for a Television Movie or Limited Series||Jeffrey Mossa (for "100% Not Guilty"," ""Marcia, Marcia, Marcia"," ""Manna From Heaven")||Nominated|
|Producers Guild of America Awards 2017||Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television||Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski, Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, D.V. DeVincentis, Anthony Hemingway, Alexis Martin Woodall, John Travolta, Chip Vucelich||Won|
|Cinema Audio Society Awards 2017||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Television Movie or Mini-Series||John Bauman, Joe Earle, Doug Andham, Judah Getz and John Guentner||Won|
|Society of Camera Operators Awards||Camera Operator of the Year – Television||Andrew Mitchell||Won|
|British Academy Television Awards||Best International Program||Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson||Won|
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- O.J.: Made in America-The 2016 Oscar-winning documentary that featured some of the participants portrayed in the miniseries
- June 17th, 1994-An episode of the acclaimed 30 for 30 series from ESPN that also covered the OJ Bronco chase
- American Tragedy-The 2000 TV movie that also covered the Simpson trail