FX Networks' original series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story premiered on Tuesday night at 10 p.m. Eastern, and the long-awaited debut spurred a fair amount of coverage and conversation online leading up to and in the wake of its release. The season will continue with another nine episodes, each one to be aired Tuesday night on FXNOW (subscription required).
According to FX, the series is based on The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson, authored by Jeffrey Toobin, and "explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution overconfidence, defense shrewdness and the LAPD's history with the city's African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt."
"You saw the chase," the series' trailer teases. "You watched the trial. But you don't know the half of it."
The plot: For those unfamiliar, or for those too young to remember the Simpson trial that captivated the nation in the mid-1990s, the series is based on the infamous trial of former NFL running back O.J. Simpson. Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and an acquaintance of hers, Ron Goldman, whose bodies were found dead in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles on June 13, 1994. The victims' bodies were found brutalized with multiple stab bounds — Brown Simpson was nearly decapitated. The startling details of double murder charges and the polarizing verdict in 1995 sparked a discussion about not only the criminal justice system, but also about race, prejudice and justice in America.
In FX's series, Sarah Paulson plays American prosecutor Marcia Clark who took part in the Simpson trial, and David Schwimmer takes on the role of Robert Kardashian of the famed reality television family. John Travolta plays Robert Shapiro, the civil litigator who worked on Simpson's defense team alongside American lawyer Johnnie Cochran, who is played by Courtney B. Vance. Cuba Gooding Jr. is O.J. Simpson, the accused.
According to the International Business Times, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski created the show, and called on producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk to bring the project to life. You may know Murphy and Falchuk for their work on the FX series American Horror Story — the dark aesthetic of which may be vaguely recognizable to some viewers in the producers' retelling of the Simpson case.
In the hours after the first episode aired, #ThePeoplevOJSimpson began trending on Twitter and some users on the social platform had strong opinions, while others came armed with jokes.
Yet one common sentiment appeared more than once in tweets, and it's one that perhaps best responds to the barrage of tweets pleading "no spoilers," in addition to stating the obvious caveat to suspense in FX's series — we all know where this is going. The silver lining? The world has been given a chance to relive the polarizing case, and this time, we've got social media to gauge of popular opinion as the trial is reenacted onscreen.