Blog: O.J. Simpson TV series? Thanks, but no thanks

10:03 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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It seems like the collective fascination with crime and criminals is a fact of life that will not be denied. But what does that say about society?

Add the celebrity factor to that and we have it all. Which may be why Fox is once again planning a TV show about O.J. Simpson.

Yes, former football star James Orenthal Simpson, tried and acquitted of the June 13, 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

Fox is betting that viewers remain riveted to the story of his fall from grace -- all the sordid details. It's entitled "The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson."

It is planned to take viewers behind the scenes of "The Trial of the Century" that ended on Oct. 3, 1995, with Simpson being found not guilty.

Fox tried to do something similar back in 2006 that didn't fly -- a two-hour TV interview with Simpson where he would talk about if he HAD committed the murders. But Fox's parent company NewsCorp put the kibosh on it.

What makes them think viewers -- many of whom were barely born at the time -- would want to watch that now?

For those of us who were watching, I am sure everyone remembers the main details. The discovery of the bodies that June of 1994 and what happened four days later on June 17, 1994, that had 95 million viewers watching on live TV.

If you don't, that's when Simpson was to turn himself in to police but didn't show up at the station. Police put out an all-points-bulletin on his white Bronco.

Someone spotted it and that's when the 50-mile chase with 20 police cars following got underway.

Driving the Bronco northbound at 35 miles an hour on I-405 in Los Angeles was Simpson's friend A. C. Cowlings, with Simpson in the passenger's seat.

It ended at Simpson's house. Police found $8,000 in cash, a change of clothes, a loaded .357 Magnum, a passport, family pictures, a fake goatee and a fake mustache inside the Bronco. It was pretty clear he wasn't on his way to turn himself in. 

Fox is calling that event the birth of the 24-hour news cycle and "the emergence of reality television."

The trial that followed lasted eight months and was broadcast on Court TV. His defense team, called the "Dream Team," did bring the name Kardashian into play on TV for the first time as attorney Robert Kardashian was a member of the team.

While most TV viewers only know the Kardashians from current reality TV, know that he is their father and died after he and Kris had divorced. It also brought Kato Kaelin, who lived in the guesthouse at O.J.'s Rockingham estate, into America's collective conscience.

Know that more than 100 million viewers watched when the verdict was read. It was feared that race riots would occur in Los Angeles if Simpson was found guilty. Even then-President Bill Clinton was briefed on what would be done if riots broke out nationwide.

There was deafening silence between 1 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. Eastern Time as the verdict was processed and read.

Everyone held their collective breath to see if the former USC football star who played for the NFL's Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers then turned actor, would go free.

He did. Most people thought he was guilty. Many had to hope that Karma would be his eventual undoing. It was.

On Dec. 5, 2008, he was sentenced to 33 years in prison after being convicted Oct. 3, 2008 on 12 felony counts of kidnapping, assault and robbery (among other charges) for entering a Las Vegas hotel room with others and taking back memorabilia he said was his own.

He now sits in prison at Lovelock Correctional Center.

It was Oct. 3, 1995 that he was first acquitted of the murders and it was on Oct. 3, 2008 that he was convicted, in case you missed that detail. Exactly 13 "unlucky" years later. Karma, in my opinion.

I, for one, think we have had enough of O.J. Simpson already for a lifetime. In my opinion, that's "thanks but no thanks," Fox.



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