Impeachment: American Crime Story tackles the case against President Bill Clinton, which led to his impeachment by the House of Representatives and entangled White House intern Monica Lewinsky, whom Clinton had a sexual relationship with.
"This franchise re-examines some of the most complicated, polarizing stories in recent history in a way that is relevant, nuanced and entertaining," chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions John Landgraf shared in a press release. "Impeachment: American Crime Story will likewise explore the overlooked dimensions of the women who found themselves caught up in the scandal and political war that cast a long shadow over the Clinton Presidency."
The cast of the new installment includes longtime Ryan Murphy collaborator Sarah Paulson, who will portray Linda Tripp, the woman who secretly recorded conversations with Lewinsky about her relationship with Clinton. Lewinsky, now an outspoken anti-bullying advocate following the immense public ridicule she received in the wake of the scandal, will be portrayed by Beanie Feldstein of Booksmart and Lady Bird. Broadway actress and season 2 American Crime Story alum Annaleigh Ashford will portray Paula Jones, the woman who sued Clinton for sexual harassment in 1997.
The limited series — to be written by The Tenant playwright Sarah Burgess — is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s bestselling book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President. Toobin also wrote the book which the first season of American Crime Story was based on, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson.
The story of Clinton's impeachment was reported to be a subject of American Crime Story since 2017. At the time, it was planned for the Clinton impeachment to be the subject of the fourth's season of the series, following a season about Hurricane Katrina. The Hurricane Katrina project, which was originally supposed to precede season 2's The Assassination of Gianni Versace, went through considerable changes — specifically, the source material which Murphy's team would adapt — and its status is thus unclear in the wake of the Impeachment news.
Per the press release, Lewinsky is signed on as producer of this season of American Crime Story — which is likely why Murphy agreed to move forward with the project. In April of 2018, Murphy revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that he had stopped pursuing the Lewinsky/Clinton scandal as a subject for television altogether due to Lewinsky's lack of involvement.
"I told [Monica Lewinsky], 'Nobody should tell your story but you, and it's kind of gross if they do," Murphy told THR at the time. "'If you want to produce it with me, I would love that; but you should be the producer and you should make all the goddamn money.'"
Refinery29 has reached out to Lewinsky for comment.
Impeachment begins filming in February 2020. It will premiere on Sunday, September 27, 2020.