John Travolta Joins FX's Upcoming American Crime Story

John Travolta is going on the defensive.

The Pulp Fiction star is joining the cast of FX’s upcoming miniseries American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, where he’ll play defense attorney Robert Shapiro.

Though he has guested on such shows as Kirstie, this marks Travolta’s first major TV role since walking away from Welcome Back, Kotter in 1979.

Travolta will also serve as a producer of the 10-part miniseries.

American Crime Story, from American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, got a straight-to-series order in October — with a 10-episode first season focusing on the murder trial of NFL star Simpson, who was accused and ultimately acquitted of killing his wife Nicole Brown Simpson.

Travolta will star alongside Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson, Sarah Paulson as prosecutor Marcia Clark and David Schwimmer as OJ pal-turned-defense attorney Robert Kardashian — who along with Shapiro was a key part of Simpson’s legal “dream team.”

The story will be based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book The Run of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson, which is told from the lawyers’ perspective and details the legal maneuvering involved in the famous case.

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson is being written by Golden Globe-winning producers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Big Eyes, The People v. Larry Flynt); Murphy will direct the first episode.

Excited to welcome Travolta back to the small screen? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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28 Comments
  1. Sara says:

    Adele Dazeem

  2. joao says:

    I always get impressed by Ryan’s castings…like wow…this show is like a tv walk of fame

  3. Anna says:

    I do not know what to think.
    Only if he is a bad guy or something.

  4. Arden Connors says:

    Very glad to finally see John in a TV mini series .He is a great actor.

  5. Jane says:

    Am I the only one that really has no interest in reliving the whole OJ Simpson trial mess? So far I haven’t heard anything that makes it sound like they just aren’t going to rehash the same old stuff.

    • johnhelvete says:

      I agree. Maybe there are things that happened during the trial that was not well known at the time, and a behind the scenes with the lawyers on both sides might be interesting, but why have OJ in the series at all and why cast a well known actor to play him? I could see a version of this story where all of the action takes place outside of the courtroom or if there are courtroom scenes, where OJ would have zero lines of dialogue. Ryan Murphy is not going to do the respectful, subtle, nuanced version of the story though, so its going to be a mess IMO.

  6. Tran says:

    WELCOME BACK WELCOME BACK WELCOME BACK…to TV Mr. Travolta

  7. yurie says:

    Maybe someone can explain this. Why is it that all the movie stars get executive producer credits for their one season while main leads of multi-season shows get it after like 4-5 seasons?

  8. Larry C. says:

    Will there be a scene where Travolta receives a massage? Art imitates life, right?

  9. JKR says:

    Um, Nicole Brown Simpson and OJ were divorced at the time of her death. Thus, she was the ex-wife.

  10. Just make sure OJ does not see a dime of profit…

  11. HAP says:

    A few observations: I had business dealings with Shapiro before the Simpson matter. Travolta looks nothing like Shapiro does or did at the time. Shapiro still practices law at age 72. He was Simpson’s personal attorney at the time of the incident, and I always felt that he thought OJ was guilty and ceded the job of chief defense lawyer to Johnnie Cochran.

    • DYS says:

      A lot of people don’t look like the real life people that they play, but the things like fake eyebrows, prosthetics, etc are applied and suddenly there is at least some resemblance.

  12. Dawn says:

    Sounds like this is a watcher! Gotta always love John Travolta, no matter WHAT!! The whole cast sounds good!!! When is it? Read this whole article and it didn’t say WHEN!?

  13. AnnieM says:

    I would be so much more interested in this if were an original story rather than a rehash of OJ. Great cast, though.

  14. Taj Al-Taji says:

    I’ll watch the first season… But Ryan Murphy has a gift for ruining all of his best work by going overboard with whatever made it good so it’s unbearable. I’ll stop watching season 2.

  15. Dawn says:

    Definitely Going to WATCH JOHN TRAVOLTA IN OJ SIMPSO TRIAL..BUT WHEN IS IT ANYONE????

  16. Melody says:

    Love love love John glad he is in a mini- series look forward to Big Screen too!! Very Talened guy!!

  17. Dawn says:

    Did they give us a date this will AIT???? If not when will they??

  18. Bec says:

    When will the series begin ?? I sure hope Travolta gets to act terrific in this series. A lot of people want Travolta back on top again. It appears to me that Hollywood doesn’t want him on top. Travolta has proven to be an excellent actor it’s the roles that fail him. So please directors give Travolta a role to shine