Ryan Murphy and his production team is back at it again with an adaptation of A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President, Jeffrey Toobin's best seller about the impeachment of Bill Clinton due to his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Murphy, especially conscious of how the press vilified Lewinsky who at the time was a 22 year-old White House intern, invited her onboard as a producer for the upcoming series. No doubt, American Crime Story: Impeachment will tell Lewinsky's side of the affair and delve into the devastating effects of falling prey to popular man in power and subsequently being slut-shamed by an entire country.
Impeachment is shaping up to be the juiciest installment of the hit anthology series yet, and here's everything we know about the upcoming season.
The series premieres late fall 2020. The premiere was slated for September 27, but due to a delay in the shooting because of Murphy's schedule, production on the series won't finish until October according FX President John Landgraf, who spoke at the TCA winter press tour. This most likely means a late 2020 or even early 2021 release, so at least there will be something to distract you from an exhausting presidential election.
The cast is stacked. Impeachment is drawing hot new talent to the Murphy repertoire starting with Beanie Feldestein (off this year's incredible Booksmart) as Lewinsky. Clive Owen is tackling Clinton; Annaleigh Ashford will play Paula Jones, another Clinton accuser; and Betty Gilpin was cast as Ann Coulter. Sarah Paulson and Billy Eichner return to the Murphyverse as Linda Tripp, whose recordings of Lewnisky blew the scandal wide open, and Matt Drudge, who first broke the story on Drudge Report, respectively.
At first, Monica Lewinsky was hesitant to join the series as a producer. Per Vanity Fair, Murphy approached Lewinsky for the project by saying, "Nobody should tell your story but you, and it's kind of gross if they do. If you want to produce it with me, I would love that, but you should be the producer, and you should make all the goddamn money." Lewinsky, convinced after a long dinner, said of Murphy, "I came to understand even more clearly how dedicated he is to giving a voice to the marginalized in all of his brilliant work."
Despite the fact that people have been co-opting and telling her story for decades, it took Lewnisky almost 20 years to reclaim her narrative. Undoubtedly, Impeachment will give audiences a in-depth look at her experiences, which she described as, "This isn't just a me problem. Powerful people, often men, take advantage of those subordinate to them in myriad ways all the time. Many people will see this as such a story and for that reason, this narrative is one that is, regretfully, evergreen."
The Clintons are not involved. When asked at TCAs Landgraf announced that, "I won't be reaching out to them, no." Landgraf noted that American Crime Story has always been about revising history to include nuance on issues that were missing at the time. "The way we perceive many aspects of it, but particularly the women, the female characters, has really been transformed by the period of time, the #MeToo movement," said Landgraf. The season, according to the FX boss will focus on "events that led up to and through the Ken Starr special counsel investigation" and is "told through the point of view of the many women swept up in that maelstrom."
Sarah Burgess was tapped to showrun. Keeping in line with Murphy's desire to make sure Lewinsky's perspective comes first, he tapped first time showrunner and playwright Sarah Burgess to keep the series centered on the narratives of the women who were caught in the fallout of Clinton's actions. Executive producing with Burgess will be Murphy, Richard Shepard, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall, and Sarah Paulson. Lewinsky, Feldstein, Henrietta Conrad and Jemima Khan are producing. Shepard will direct the Impeachment pilot.