O.J. Simpson will be eligible for parole in October 2017 (after a hearing this summer), and there’s a lot of reason to believe he’ll be granted his release.
And from the sounds of it, the moment he walks out of Lovelock Correctional Center he’ll be met by a swarm of television producers.
According to TMZ (so yeah, take this with some amount of salt), people in the TV industry expect a rush to sign Simpson for some kind of reality show or special, perhaps in the mold of the 2006 “If I did it” special that never made it to air.
Of course, there’s a catch…
Here’s the problem. Almost to a person, producers and agents said broadcast and cable networks would never air a show featuring O.J. They say the public wouldn’t tolerate it and no one would advertise on it.
TMZ reports that some producers suggested that if networks wouldn’t host an O.J. show, it could find a home on pay-per-view.
Like many TMZ reports, this one is filled with vague information and unnamed sources, so we shouldn’t necessarily take it as gospel, but it certainly makes sense that the TV industry would be interested in O.J.
Last year, we saw just how much audience there is for O.J. content, with an FX miniseries on the Simpson trial, along with an epic ESPN documentary, which recently won an Oscar. Given how many viewers flocked to those programs, you’ve got to imagine there’d be interest in hearing from the man himself.
And though some Americans might remain repulsed by O.J., 23 years have passed since the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, and there’s a generation or two that thinks of Simpson as a pop culture phenomenon more than a criminal. Given all the somewhat-despicable reality TV concepts we put up with, it’s not too hard to imagine someone taking a shot on O.J.
Of course, it’s also possible that Simpson will emerge from prison and decide to live a quiet life away from TV cameras—or that he won’t get out anytime soon at all.
Simpson was charged with armed robbery and kidnapping in 2007 and sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison.