OJ-Made America

Hard to believe, but we’re really getting two TV series based on former pro football-turned-actor O.J. Simpson in one calendar year.

ESPN announced O.J.: Made in America as part of its 2016 “30 for 30” lineup, and one wondered what would make this particular documentary different from the previous one (ESPN covered the “White Bronco” car chase that interrupted the 1994 NBA Finals in the mini-documentary “June 17, 1994”). To say nothing of how the FX mini-series American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson was a monumental – if highly dramaticized – retelling of the Nicole Brown/Ron Goldman murders and the subsequent Simpson trial.

But Made in America is something different. The documentary’s official trailer, premiered today by way of PEOPLE Magazine, suggests a much more all-encompassing look into Simpson as a man, brand, and embattled person standing between race and reputation.

“This is a much bigger story [than just the murders or the trial],” says Ezra Edelman, the documentary’s director and an alumnus of the “30 for 30” series. “[The documentary] explores O.J.’s life and how race and his pursuit of celebrity shaped it … while at the same time documenting the racial dynamics of L.A. and the relationship between its police force and black citizens – a relationship thrust front and center into the discussion of the murders, and one that proved a vital determinant in the outcome of the trial.”

O.J.: Made in America is nearly eight hours in length, and will be split up into parts: its opening episode airs on ABC on June 11th; and from there, ESPN will re-air the documentary in five parts starting June 14th.

Watch the debut trailer – complete with Nina Simone’s haunting “Sinnerman” song lurking in the background in the latter half – for O.J.: Made in America for yourself up top, and set your DVRs accordingly this June.

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