News Nuggets: Ryan Murphy will tackle O.J. Simpson in ‘American Crime Story’

Prolific producer Ryan Murphy will tackle NFL Hall of Fame running back and accused murderer O.J. Simpson for his next FX project. The 10-episode anthology “American Crime Story” will start with “The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” an adaptation of Jeffrey Toobin‘s best-seller. The program will be told from the perspective of the trial lawwyers and “is poised to explore the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court.” Production should begin in early 2015. Murphy has worked with FX on “Nip/Tuck” and “American Horror Story.” He has also won Emmy Awards for directing “Glee” and producing the HBO telefilm “The Normal Heart.” Hollywood Reporter

Will Jessica Lange be returning to “American Horror Story” after all? She has won two Emmys for the anthology program but had said that the upcoming “Freak Show” will be her final season. Her current role of Elsa Mars with a 1950s traveling show is said to be her favorite so far. If another interesting role for a full 13 episodes or even half of a season catches her attention, she might return to the FX project again. The “Freak Show” season debuts today on FX with Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, and Michael Chiklis. Playbill

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Director Stephen Frears is tapped to receive a BFI Fellowship from the British Film Institute. The life achivement award is the group’s highest honor. While his career began on television, he is gone on to helm such movies as “My Beautiful Laundrette,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” “The Queen,” and “Philomena.” Previous recipients have included Orson Welles, Maggie Smith, Laurence Olivier, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Al Pacino. Telegraph

New Showtime series “The Affair” is attempting to “create art on television,” according to co-creator Sarah Treem. She adds, “We’re not trying to make the shows difficult, or more complex than usual, but we are trying to use television as a medium that could, perhaps, engender an art form. That’s the objective.” The contemplative show starring Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Joshua Jackson, and Maura Tierney debuts this Sunday, October 12. Variety

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After objections from original director Cameron Crowe and star John Cusack, NBC will not move forward with a “Say Anything” television series. 20th Century Fox was looking to adapt the 1989 movie, but Crowe and Cusack started a social media campaign to stop it. The single-camera comedy would have been set 10 years after the film and followed the same characters. TV Line

Scarlett Johansson might be seeking an Emmy to go along with her Tony Award. She has signed with Sony to star in a limited series adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel “The Custom of the Country.” The studio will most likely air it on one of the premium channels. The project will be written by Christopher Hampton (“Atonement”) and is about one of the most ruthless women in New York’s high society. Deadline

NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt is adding oversight of NBCUniversal’s stage division to his job responsibilities. Hollywood companies in general are relying more on big Broadway hits that can continue to earn money worldwide by touring. Greenblatt has already been an individual producer for the current musical “Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and also for “9 to 5” and the upcoming “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” The Wrap

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