American Crime Spree on SoHo and OnDemand

TVNZ OnDemand has started streaming season two of American Crime ahead of SoHo premiering American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson.

Expect American Crime, which uses the original’s same cast in a new storyline with similar themes of race, class and gender, to surface eventually late-night on TV1.

Given the scarcity of premium US drama on the network, it’s frustrating to see a series of this calibre languish for a slot behind lesser fare.

It averaged 84 out of 100 on the aggregate review site Metacritic and was dubbed “the rare network drama that will get your rapt attention” by The Washington Post.

Echoed the New York Times: “This is an ABC drama that is not just good, it’s startlingly good, as bracing in its own way as True Detective was on HBO last year.”

The People v OJ Simpson is the first in a new anthology drama franchise from American Horror Story producer Ryan Murphy (who directed two of the episodes).

A 10-part adaptation of Jeffrey Toobin’s book, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson, it promises to explore “the chaotic, behind-the-scenes dealings and manoeuvring on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution overconfidence, defence shrewdness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt”.

It premieres here on February 3, within 24 hours of its FX debut in the US, and will air 8.30 Wednesdays.

Meanwhile, the second American Crime Story instalment will focus on Hurricane Katrina.

While Katrina isn’t a crime story, the show’s aim extends beyond criminal investigations and court cases to “other Simpson-style watershed moments” in American culture,  The Hollywood Reporter says.

“The working plan, according to Murphy, is to follow a group of six to eight people in an attempt to examine all sides of the tragedy, from the Superdome to the hospital to those who were put on buses and dropped off with babies who were forced to wear trash bags for multiple days.

“‘I want this show to be a socially conscious, socially aware examination of different types of crime around the world,’ he said.

“‘And in my opinion, Katrina was a f—ing crime — a crime against a lot of people who didn’t have a strong voice and we’re going to treat it as a crime. That’s what this show is all about.'”

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4 Responses to “American Crime Spree on SoHo and OnDemand”

  1. Phil, I totally agree with you about letting such quality primetime drama languish behind lesser fare. Does this article mean that TVNZ OnDemand has gone HD? Is it anything beyond the Shortland Street episodes? And are there any indications of 3Now adding HD content? Do you know what proportion, if any(!) of the Sky OnDemand is HD? And if HD streaming is becoming more prevalent will you be discussing the other upcoming HD releases in the streaming market (eg Daredevil on Netflix – March 18)?

  2. Thanks, Mike. Yes and no to TVNZ OnDemand being in HD — apparently it’s only in HD on high-end devices like PS4 or FreeviewPlus. Sky’s on-demand content is 100% SD. I believe 3 Now is only SD, too, although not sure about its new Apple TV app. With the upsurge in HD streaming, I do intend to devote more coverage to it and have added a Digital option to my categories. But unlike the networks and Sky, the likes of Netflix and Lightbox are much harder to access programming info from.

  3. For Lightbox – maybe Facebook page. It usually gets frequent updates about new content. Netflix’s own content – press releases? Otherwise @ release content is usually added to lemontv’s metacatalouge fairly quickly.
    I thought Sky’s stuff was all SD, too – although I was surprised at the quality of the picture of Atlantis when watching it. Visually it’d didnt seem SD. Odd.

  4. Engadget’s MustSeeHDTV weekly will probably alert you to new streaming releases for Netflix. This week has the new season of Degrassi (for what its worth).

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