John Travolta is returning to TV.
The veteran actor, whose last television starring role was Welcome Back, Kotter in the 1970s, has signed on to star in FX’s newest anthology series American Crime Story, TVWise has learned.
American Crime Story is an anthology series which will focus on a new “true crime” story each season. The first season (subtitled The People v. O.J. Simpson) will explore the O.J. Simpson trial told from the perspective of the lawyers and how a combination of prosecution confidence, defense wiliness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.
John Travolta will play Robert Shapiro, O.J. Simpsons defense attorney. He joins a cast which includes Cuba Gooding Jr as O.J. Simpson, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, a member of OJ Simpson’s legal team; and Sarah Paulson as Deputy DA Marcia Clark. In addition to starring, Travolta will also serve as a producer on the 10 episode first season.
The plot for the first season was initially in development at Fox as a limited event series, before it segued to FX as part of a new Ryan Murphy created anthology series. The O.J. storyline is based on The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, with Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski penning the first two episodes. FX Productions and 20th Century Fox Television are producing with Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski and Dante Di Loreto serving as executive producers.