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FX Sets ‘American Love Story’ and ‘American Sports Story’ to Tackle JFK Jr. Marriage, Aaron Hernandez Trial

In addition to the new "American Story" anthologies, a fourth season of "American Crime Story" is now in development focusing on Studio 54.

John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette

John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, NY circa 1997

Photo by Diane Cohen/Everett Collection

FX and 20th Television have announced the expansion of Ryan Murphy’s “American Story” franchise, which already includes “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story,” and the recently launched “American Horror Stories.” Two new spinoffs are being developed titled “American Love Story” and “American Sports Story” from producers Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, and Brad Simpson.

“When Ryan Murphy came to us with these two spinoffs and the stories for ‘American Sports Story’ and ‘American Love Story,’ we immediately jumped at the opportunity,” said FX Chairman John Landgraf in a statement. “What began with ‘American Horror Story’ has spawned some of the best and most indelible programs of our generation, most notably ‘American Crime Story’ which created a beautiful partnership between Ryan, Brad, Nina, and Brad. Their alchemy and the way in which they construct these stories is done with such care, such clarity and such dimensionality that creates the magnificence that is ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson,’ ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace,’ and ‘Impeachment.’ We can’t wait to see what comes next.”

Dana Walden, Chairman of Entertainment at Walt Disney Television, added “More than a decade ago, Ryan Murphy expressed interest in expanding the ‘American Horror Story’ model to be able to tell different ‘American’ stories, which have long captivated so many of us. It was a brilliant idea. Adding these new installments to the franchise will enable Ryan, Brad, Nina, and Brad and their talented teams to tackle riveting stories outside of the horror and crime genres. This group has done a truly amazing job of examining situations we think we know everything about and making us realize that there was so much more there than what we had been told.”

“American Sports Story” is billed as “a scripted anthological limited series focusing on a prominent event involving a sports figure and re-examines it through the prism of today’s world, telling that story from multiple perspectives.” The first season will “chart the rise and fall of NFL superstar Aaron Hernandez and explore the connections of the disparate strands of his identity, his family, his career, his suicide, and their legacy in sports and American culture.” It’s based on the podcast “Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc” from the Boston Globe and Wondery. Stu Zicherman (“The Americans”) is the writer.

“American Love Story” will focus its first season on the courtship and marriage of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette. A statement from the network reads: “What started out as a beautiful union for the young couple, widely regarded as American royalty, began to fray under the stress of the relentless microscope and navel gaze of tabloid media. The pressures of their careers and rumored family discord ended with their tragic deaths when his private plane crashed into the ocean on a hazy summer night off the coast of Massachusetts.”

There’s also a fourth season of “American Crime Story” in development under the working title “Studio 54: American Crime Story.” This season will focus on Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, who in 1977 turned their midtown Manhattan disco into “an international mecca of nightlife for the rich and famous and commoners alike — renowned for its lavish parties, music, sex and drugs. With Rubell and Schrager’s meteoric rise came their epic fall less than three years later when the impresarios were convicted of tax fraud”

The “American Story” franchise continues next with “American Horror Story: Double Feature” (which premieres August 25 on FX) and “Impeachment: American Crime Story” (premiering September 7).

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