[caption id="attachment_292530" align="aligncenter" width="970"] 01 Sep 2005, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA --- Residents wait to be rescued from the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans September 1, 2005. Chaos and lawlessness hampered the evacuation of New Orleans on Thursday and a U.S. senator said thousands may have died in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast. In New Orleans, shell-shocked officials tried to regain control of the historic jazz city reduced to a swampy ruin by Monday's storm. Bodies floated in the flooded city and authorities still could only guess how many people had died. --- Image by © David J. Phillip/Pool/Reuters/Corbis[/caption]
The FX network has announced that what was previously set to be the second installment of its "American Crime Story" franchise - a season tackling the Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath - has been delayed and pushed back, to be replaced by "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" (which would've come after).
Production of 'Versace: ACS' began in April and it is tentatively slated to debut in early 2018.
"Katrina: American Crime Story" now becomes the third installment of the limited series. Production of 'Katrina: ACS' is now slated to begin in early 2018, likely for an early 2019 premiere.
Reasons given for the switch include allowing time for the necessary digital effects that will be needed for "Katrina," as well as scheduling conflicts. This isn't the first time that the project has been pushed.
Producers were previously hoping to start production in the fall of 2016 for a premiere later in 2017, but earlier this year, we were told that it wouldn't be ready until 2018.
At the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour in January of this year, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf made the announcement, adding that the Katrina-focused season was taking longer to develop.
"We just have really high ambitions for this franchise," Landgraf said. "It's just taken time to get material that we're happy with."
He also noted that the production will film in New Orleans, and certain times of the year are off-limits for filming because of hurricane season, coincidentally.
"We look at it on a show-by-show basis and try to be as accommodating to the talent as we can," said Eric Schrier, president, original programming at FX, of long hiatuses.
Added Landgraf, "Do you want it now, or do you want it good? … We'll take it later, and we'll take it good."
Indeed. Although "later" is now looking like 2019, 2 years later than initially eyed.
About "Katrina," Murphy previously said that the working plan is to follow a group of six to eight people in an attempt to examine all sides of the tragedy, from the Superdome in New Orleans to the hospital, to those who were put on buses and dropped off with babies who had to wear trash bags for multiple days, and more.
"I want this show to be a socially conscious, socially aware examination of different types of crime around the world," Murphy says. "And in my opinion, Katrina was a f—ing crime — a crime against a lot of people who didn't have a strong voice, and we're going to treat it as a crime. That's what this show is all about."
We don't have a full cast list yet.
Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk and Tom Rob Smith are Executive Producers of the "American Crime Story" anthology series. "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" stars Darren Criss, Edgar Ramirez, Penelope Cruz and Ricky Martin.
The series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions.
The first installment of the franchise, "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," received 22 Emmy Award nominations and it won nine Emmys. It also won the Golden Globe, BAFTA, AFI, PGA, WGA and TCA awards and it was the most critically acclaimed program of 2016.