FX’s Emmy-winning American Crime Story announced that season three will “focus on the saga of the Clinton presidency scandal with Monica Lewinsky on board to produce.” Impeachment: American Crime Story will star Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp; Beanie Feldstein as Lewinsky and Annaleigh Ashford as Paula Jones.
History of the miniseries in the making has experienced a roller-coaster. The script was based on Jeffrey Toobin’s best seller A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President. ACS producer Ryan Murphy optioned the book in 2017, then later had second thoughts about telling Lewinsky’s story.
Hollywood Reporter quoted Murphy in April 2018, “I told her, ‘Nobody should tell your story but you, and it’s kind of gross I they do…if you want to produce it with me, I would love that; but you should make all the goddamn money.”
The kicker? ACS is slated to be released September 27, 2020, which according to Entertainment Weekly “had some Democrats worried on Twitter that the project could re-elect President Trump.” FX chairman John Landgraf issued a defense of the timing:
Let me say something about the current environment. When somebody writes, without even knowing what the script is…so this person knows what the show is, knows what the audience response is going to be, know how it’s going to impact the election. This certainty that says, ‘We can’t have conversations, we can’t make art, we can’t have nuance. I won’t even wait to pronounce judgment on it’ – is toxic to the media environment. I believe very strongly in it. I’ve read [the ACS script]. I think it’s great. I don’t believe it’s going to determine who’s the next President of the United States.