The BBC is sticking with Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series American Crime Story. BBC Two has closed a deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution to acquire the first window UK rights to season two, titled The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. BBC Two will air the second season of American Crime Story in 2018, shortly after it launches on FX in the United States.
Today’s confirmation from the Beeb resolves what had been something of an open question. This one is a little convoluted so stick with me here. Back in April, the BBC announced that they has secured the UK rights to the second installment of American Crime Story; which at the time was to be Katrina, starring Matthew Broderick and Annette Benning. Fast forward to June and Katrina has hit numerous production issues prompting FX to make Versace – which had already begun filming – the second season; while Ryan Murphy went back to the drawing board on Katrina, which would now air as season three.
At the time, TVWise reached out to the BBC for clarification as to whether or not their deal was specifically for Katrina or more broadly for whatever season two happened to be. The BBC were unable to provide an update and declined comment, but with today’s announcement have confirmed that that deal was specifically for Katrina prompting them to also acquire Versace. Netflix UK has a long-term SVOD deal for American Crime Story and will also make future seasons available to subscribers shortly after their respective broadcast windows.
“I am thrilled that another season of American Crime Story is coming to BBC Two. Ryan Murphy and his team created something truly special with The People vs O.J Simpson, winning a much merited BAFTA amongst a host of other awards”, BBC Two Controller Patrick Holland said in a statement. “With British writer Tom Rob Smith, one of the most exciting talents in television drama, across season two, The Assassination of Gianni Versace promises to be captivating viewing”.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story follows the events surrounding the death of legendary fashion designer Gianni Versace in the summer of 1997. The scripts were penned by Tom Rob Smith (London Spy). The cast for Versace includes Edgar Ramirez, Penélope Cruz, Darren Criss and Ricky Martin, amongst others. It is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions, with Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk and Tom Rob Smith serving as executive producers. The season premiere was directed by Ryan Murphy.
While the BBC rarely goes in for U.S. scripted acquisitions, they have become somewhat enamoured with Ryan Murphy’s factual based anthology series. In addition to American Crime Story, BBC Two also recently concluded a licensing agreement with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution for fellow anthology series Feud, which explores different famous feuds each season. Feud‘s first season, Bette and Joan, is set to premiere on BBC Two later this year. The agreements with Fox for both American Crime Story and Feud were brokered by the BBC’s Head of Programme Acquisition Sue Deeks.