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BBC Acquires FX’s ‘Katrina: American Crime Story’ for U.K.

Variety logo Variety 4/26/2017 Robert Mitchell
© Provided by Variety

FX’s “Katrina: American Crime Story” has been acquired for U.K. broadcast by BBC Two, which also aired the anthology series’ first installment, “The People vs. O.J. Simpson.”

“Katrina” tells the story of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in August 2005, and the botched federal response to the disaster, which claimed over 1,200 lives and caused more than $100 billion in damage.

Annette Bening and Matthew Broderick were the first cast members announced for the new show in February. Bening will play then-Louisiana governor Kathleen Bianco, and Broderick will play Michael Brown, former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who was heavily criticized for the agency’s slow and fumbling response.

Other cast members have yet to be announced, though showrunner Ryan Murphy has said that Sarah Paulson, who won Emmy and Golden Globe awards for her role as prosecutor Marcia Clark in “The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” would appear in the new series.

“With ‘The People vs. O.J. Simpson’ the brilliant Ryan Murphy and his team crafted a unique and utterly compelling television event which managed to get the nation talking once more about one of the biggest cases in history,” said Sue Deeks, head of BBC program acquisitions. “It is with great anticipation that we welcome the second installment of ‘American Crime Story’ to BBC Two.”

“The People vs. O.J. Simpson” proved a critical and ratings hit for BBC Two when it aired in the U.K. from February to April 2016. According to figures from the U.K.’s Broadcasters Audience Research Board, the show’s opening episode attracted 2.44 million viewers, the channel’s fourth-highest-rated show for that week. The second week’s audience rose to 2.55 million, while the 10-week run scored average viewing figures of 2.05 million. Its final episode on April 18, 2016, drew 1.85 million viewers, akin to the final episode of BBC Two’s recent season of automotive show “Top Gear,” which attracted 1.9 million viewers.

“American Crime Story” is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions, and is distributed by 20th Century Fox. “Katrina” will air in the U.S. in 2018 on FX. No air dates have been announced for the U.K.

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