As Ryan Murphy’s “American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson” series premieres this week on the FX network (and to strong debut ratings), veteran actor Martin Sheen has announced that he’s shopping around a true-crime series to TV networks that will unfold in a similar manner to Netflix’s hit “Making a Murderer,” which will focus on alleged evidence that “exonerates” Simpson in the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
Sheen is teaming up with Dallas-based investigator William Dear, who says he has spent 21 years collecting what he calls “hard evidence” that he believes exonerates Simpson of the double murders.
“People are fascinated with true crime. I know the time is right for people to look at this O.J. thing,” Dear told the New York Daily News today, adding that the project is being sold as an 8 to 10-part miniseries which, like Netflix’s “Making a Murderer,” will “raise doubts” about Simpson’s perceived guilt (although, unlike Steven Avery in “Making a Murderer,” Simpson was acquitted of the murders in 1995, avoiding prison time, and would later be found liable in a civil suit in which he was ordered to pay $33.5 million to the victims’ families).
“He [Sheen] and I are partners in this project,” Dear said, adding, “We recently did nine pitches, and he attended four of them… He’s a great guy to work with. If he didn’t believe in this, he wouldn’t do it.”
And about their proposed series, he shared the following: “It’s not going to be talking heads. These are going to be facts, not hearsay, not soft evidence but hard evidence… We have diaries. We have pictures of [another suspect that they believe was overlooked] wearing a cap that was found at the crime scene. We have the vehicle the suspect was driving. We have a witness. We feel very confident in what we’ve been able to put together.”
William Dear is also the author of the 2012 book “OJ is Innocent and I Can Prove It.”
Sheen’s involvement in the project was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Meanwhile, FX miniseries “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” drew over 5 million viewers for its first episode on Tuesday night, which was a record for an FX original series premiere, suggesting that, 2 decades since Simpson’s acquittal, there very much still is interest in that particular case.
Simpson is currently serving a 9 to 33 year sentence for a Las Vegas armed robbery and kidnapping conviction. He’ll be eligible for parole in 2017.