American Crime Story is returning to the Beeb. BBC Two has picked up the first run UK broadcast rights to the second season of Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series from international distributor Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, TVWise has learned.
The BBC originally acquired American Crime Story last year and aired the first season (The People Vs. O.J. Simpson) close behind the U.S. broadcast on FX. It was a rare U.S. scripted acquisition for the PSB and there had been some question as to whether they would continue to air the series going forward, or if they were only on-board for the initial O.J. season.
Netflix subsequently picked up exclusive SVOD rights to American Crime Story last summer in a global deal with Fox, fueling rumours that the BBC may not air season two. BBC sources stressed earlier this year, however, that while their initial deal did indeed give them an option on the second season, their executives had not yet made a decision on whether they would exercise it. That decision was made at some point in the last two months, leading to today’s announcement that they have acquired the second season.
“With The People Vs OJ Simpson, the brilliant Ryan Murphy and his team crafted a unique and utterly compelling television event which managed to get the nation talking once more about one of the biggest cases in history”, the BBC’s Head of Acquisitions Sue Deeks, who brokered the agreement with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, said in a statement. “It is with great anticipation that we welcome the second installment of American Crime Story to BBC Two.”
The show’s second season, simply subtitled ‘Katrina‘, explores Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in 2005, and its catastrophic aftermath. While casting for the new season is still underway, FX has confirmed that Matthew Broderick will play FEMA Director Michael D. Brown and Annette Benning will portray Kathleen Blanco, the Governor of Louisiana. TVWise also understands that season one cast members Cuba Gooding Jr., Courtney B. Vance and Sarah Paulson are also set to appear in the new season.
Katrina: American Crime Story is based on Douglas Brinkley’s book The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It is being produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions, with Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson serving as the executive producers. Due to a quirk in scheduling, production on the second and third season (which tells the story of the Versace murder) is occurring simultaneously, with both eyeing 2018 premieres. Netflix UK retains SVOD rights and will make Katrina available following its linear broadcast on BBC Two. TVWise understands that despite the fact that the next two seasons will be airing close behind each other next year, the BBC does not presently hold the rights to season three.