Ryan Murphy’s vast American Story-branded scripted anthology drama empire at FX has a new entry, the network announced today: American Sports Story.
The first edition has been ordered, focusing on the life and death of Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. The series will be based on the Boston Globe podcast “Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez & Football Inc.,” which we liked when it came out in 2018.
From The Hollywood Reporter, which had one of the many writeups of FX’s press release:
American Sports Story will expand the franchise to re-examine a prominent event involving a sports figure through the prism of today’s world and will tell the story from multiple perspectives.
The first season will be based on the Boston Globe and Wondery podcast Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc. It will chart the rise and fall of the former New England Patriots tight end who was convicted for murder and ultimately took his own life. Thematically, it will explore the disparate strands of his identity, his family, his career, his suicide and their legacy in sports and American culture.
Stu Zicherman (The Americans) will pen the script and exec produce the series alongside Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall and Wondery’s Hernan Lopez and Marshall Lewy and The Boston Globe’s Linda Pizutti Henry and Ira Napoliello.
Typically these “American Story” anthologies include plenty of stunt casting and a heightened sense of drama, bordering on and occasionally veering into outright camp. Considering the sensitivity of this particular story, and the high-profile nature of it, that tone will be a tough needle to thread.
The show received a series order, so it’s definitely getting made, although there’s no timetable set yet for the release date.
(Also, good luck trying to abbreviate American Sports Story, writers.)