FX’s “Impeachment: American Crime Story” stirred up controversy when the announcement was made that the limited series — dramatizing the impeachment of President Bill Clinton — would air just ahead of the the U.S. presidential election in November 2020.
However, an update from FX chairman John Landgraf indicates that may not be the case. Speaking with reporters on Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Langraf announced that production — which was originally set to begin in early 2020 — had been delayed.
“[Exec producer] Ryan [Murphy] is probably objectively the busiest man in show business… and he’s not available to start production until March 21 of this year,” said Landgraf, as reported by TVLine.
“So that means we won’t be physically done actually shooting the episodes until October, because of the long production,” he added. “So I think we initially announced that we’d air in September, and I don’t think that’s reasonable, frankly, given that it won’t finish production until October. As for when we’ll schedule it… we don’t know. We sort of have to get into production, sort of see how the production goes, how long the production is going to be. So I guess I would say it’s TBD at this point, but I don’t think we’ll make it by September.”
The hugely anticipated third season of “American Crime Story” will focus on the sex scandal that engulfed Clinton when his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky led to his impeachment.
Deadline was the first to report that Clive Owen had been cast as Clinton, joining a cast that already included Beanie Feldstein as Lewinsky, Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp and Annaleigh Ashford as Paula Jones. The actual Monica Lewinsky is on board as a producer, with the role of Hillary Clinton yet to be cast.
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“Impeachment: American Crime Story” is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s bestseller A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President, marking the second time that “American Crime Story” has used one of his books as source material; Toobin’s 1997 book The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson was the basis for the series’ critically acclaimed first season.
“This ‘American Crime Story’ season focuses on the events that led up to and through the Ken Starr special counsel investigation that resulted in President Bill Clinton’s impeachment votes in the House and Senate, as told through the point of view of the many women who were swept up the maelstrom,” Landgraf said at the summer edition of the Television Critics Association press tour.
At the time, Landgraf responded to concerns about the timing of the season, which was then set to air prior to what may be the most contentious presidential election in American history.
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“I think the way we look at ‘American Crime Story’ is as revisionist history,” said Landgraf. “We look at moments in time that involve crimes, that can be looked at with much more nuance and much more complexity in the fullness of time through great writing and character looking back than they could be at the time. And I feel completely unabashed about my pride for ‘American Crime Story’ and my belief that this is a completely valid cycle of ‘American Crime Story’. It’s an excellent story, and the writing is superb and the cast is superb. And there’s just a lot of nuance in the story that people don’t know.”
Owen can also be seen in Francois Girard’s historical drama “The Song Of Names”, which premiered on Dec. 25.