Ryan Murphy first told us about his idea for Studio 54: American Crime Story on Deadline’s Crew Call in June, and FX made it official today that the fourth installment of the series is in development.
Studio 54: American Crime Story will tell the story of Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, who in 1977 turned their Midtown Manhattan disco into an international mecca of nightlife for the rich and famous and commoners alike — renowned for its lavish parties, music, sex and open drug use. With Rubell and Schrager’s meteoric rise came their epic fall less than three years later when the impresarios were convicted of tax fraud.
In December 1978, Studio 54 was raided after Rubell had been quoted as saying that only the Mafia made more money than the club brought in. The business partners were charged with tax evasion, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy for reportedly skimming nearly $2.5M in unreported income from the club’s receipts. Police reports at the time read that cash and receipts were in the building and were hidden in the ceiling sections of Rubell’s office, where both he and Schrager worked. The duo were sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison and fined $20K each for the tax-evasion charge. In February 1980, Rubell and Schrager went to prison, and Studio 54 was sold in November of that year for $4.75M to Mark Fleischman. He reopened it, then sold it in 1984 to new owners who would close the famed soiree haunt in 1986.
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Murphy told us about his great interest to do Studio 54: American Crime Story, saying: “When I was a child, in Indiana, getting the Liz Smith column in the Indianapolis Star, reading about it, I’m like, ‘Oh! I wanna go there.’ I love what it’s about. I love that time and place. But I also feel like, it’s a story of excess and a story of two guys who had a dream and took the dream too far and paid for it. I love Ian Schrager’s work, and I think he’s a genius. It’s an interesting story to tell through the prism of American Crime Story.”
The third and next installment of ACS, Impeachment: American Crime Story, about President Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and the fallout, premieres at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7 on FX. The series tells this story through the eyes of the women at the center of the events: Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein), Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson) and Paula Jones (Annaleigh Ashford). All three were thrust into the public spotlight during a time of corrosive partisan rancor, shifting sexual politics and a changing media landscape. Impeachment tells a story on how power lifts some and disposes of others in the halls of our most sacred institutions.
Impeachment: American Crime Story is executive produced by Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Sarah Burgess, Alexis Martin Woodall, Paulson, Brad Falchuk, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski and Michael Uppendahl. The series is produced by 20th Television and FX Productions.
The first two installments of American Crime Story, The People v. O.J. Simpson (2016) and The Assassination of Gianni Versace (2018), collectively received 41 Emmy nominations and won 14, both winning for Outstanding Limited Series. The show has also won AFI, Critics Choice, DGA, Golden Globe, Peabody, PGA, SAG, WGA and Television Critics Association awards, with The People v. O.J. Simpson winning Program of the Year in 2016.