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Television networks return to old obsession with Simpson

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/20/2017
FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2007 file photo, O.J. Simpson lawyer Yale Galanter talks to the media outside Clark County Justice courtroom after Simpson's arraignment in Las Vegas. On Thursday, July 20, 2017 O.J. Simpson faces a parole board hearing in Nevada. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2007 file photo, O.J. Simpson lawyer Yale Galanter talks to the media outside Clark County Justice courtroom after Simpson's arraignment in Las Vegas. On Thursday, July 20, 2017 O.J. Simpson faces a parole board hearing in Nevada. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Television networks returned to the scene of an old obsession Thursday with blanket coverage of O.J. Simpson's parole hearing Nevada.

FILE - In this May 15, 2013 file photo, O.J. Simpson returns to the witness stand to testify after a break during an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas. Simpson, the former football star, TV pitchman and now Nevada prison inmate, will have a lot going for him when he appears before state parole board members Thursday, July 20, 2017, seeking his release after more than eight years for an ill-fated bid to retrieve sports memorabilia. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, Pool, file) © The Associated Press FILE - In this May 15, 2013 file photo, O.J. Simpson returns to the witness stand to testify after a break during an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas. Simpson, the former football star, TV pitchman and now Nevada prison inmate, will have a lot going for him when he appears before state parole board members Thursday, July 20, 2017, seeking his release after more than eight years for an ill-fated bid to retrieve sports memorabilia. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, Pool, file)

The biggest broadcast networks, news networks and even ESPN and CNBC set aside regular programming for the odd spectacle that NBC's Savannah Guthrie dubbed "the parole hearing of the century."

FILE - In this June 15, 1995 file photo, O.J. Simpson, left, grimaces as he tries on one of the leather gloves prosecutors say he wore the night his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered in a Los Angeles courtroom. Simpson, the former football star, TV pitchman and now Nevada prison inmate, will have a lot going for him when he appears before state parole board members Thursday, July 20, 2017, seeking his release after more than eight years for an ill-fated bid to retrieve sports memorabilia. (AP Photo/Sam Mircovich, Pool, file) © The Associated Press FILE - In this June 15, 1995 file photo, O.J. Simpson, left, grimaces as he tries on one of the leather gloves prosecutors say he wore the night his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered in a Los Angeles courtroom. Simpson, the former football star, TV pitchman and now Nevada prison inmate, will have a lot going for him when he appears before state parole board members Thursday, July 20, 2017, seeking his release after more than eight years for an ill-fated bid to retrieve sports memorabilia. (AP Photo/Sam Mircovich, Pool, file)

It was 22 years after Simpson's trial for the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, became a television soap opera.

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 1995 file photo, attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr., right, holds onto O.J. Simpson as the not guilty verdict is read in a Los Angeles courtroom. Simpson, the former football star, TV pitchman and now Nevada prison inmate, will have a lot going for him when he appears before state parole board members Thursday, July 20, 2017, seeking his release after more than eight years for an ill-fated bid to retrieve sports memorabilia. (AP Photo/Pool, Myung J. Chun, file) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 3, 1995 file photo, attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr., right, holds onto O.J. Simpson as the not guilty verdict is read in a Los Angeles courtroom. Simpson, the former football star, TV pitchman and now Nevada prison inmate, will have a lot going for him when he appears before state parole board members Thursday, July 20, 2017, seeking his release after more than eight years for an ill-fated bid to retrieve sports memorabilia. (AP Photo/Pool, Myung J. Chun, file)

Commentators harshly criticized Simpson and his lawyer for their performance at the parole hearing. CNN's Jeffrey Toobin called it "an absolute disgrace."

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