FX’s American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson is not a prequel to Keeping Up With the Kardashians, exec producer Ryan Murphy assured reporters Saturday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena.
Despite the pivotal role played by the late Robert Kardashian (as portrayed by David Schwimmer) in the O.J. saga, his children — Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and Rob — are not a major focus of the limited series.
“In the 10 episodes, there are over 400 scenes that were written,” Murphy shared. “Of those 400 scenes, only four or five of them involve the Kardashian children. That gives you a grasp on how important we felt they were to the story.”
Added fellow EP Scott Alexander: “We thought it’d be valuable to have them there for a little sprinkling. There were a lot of themes that I wanted to hit in the scripts — the 24-hour news cycle, the beginning of reality TV. [The Kardashians] were emblematic of the beginning of this time, where someone could become famous and no one would understand why they were famous.”
Schwimmer’s preparation for American Crime Story included meeting with Kardashian’s ex, Kris Jenner. “She was incredibly generous with her time and very open about her relationship to Robert,” he shared. “The single greatest thing I got from her was the insight about how religious he was — that he had a very strong personal relationship to God. He prayed every day, several times a day. For me, that really helped inform the character and understand the decisions he was making at the time.”
American Crime Story premieres Feb. 2 on FX.