SEVERE WX : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Fox using O.J. special to tackle 'American Idol'

In a throwback to Fox's tabloid past, the network has scheduled a two-hour special, "O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confessio...

Posted: Mar 2, 2018 9:56 AM
Updated: Mar 2, 2018 9:56 AM

In a throwback to Fox's tabloid past, the network has scheduled a two-hour special, "O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?," in what appears to be a transparent move to undermine the premiere of "American Idol" on ABC.

The program -- like "Idol," scheduled for 8 p.m. on March 11 -- is being culled from videotapes that were to be used for the 2006 special "If I Did It," based on a book that featured O.J. Simpson discussing the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

Faced with criticism, Fox withdrew the book deal and canceled plans for the special, with News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch apologizing to the families of Brown and Goldman for what he described at the time as "an ill-considered project."

The 2006 interview -- billed as a 'shocking hypothetical account" of the murders -- was conducted by Judith Regan, who was then the publisher at News Corp.-owned HarperCollins. Regan was subsequently fired, filing a $100-million defamation lawsuit against the company that was eventually settled.

The big difference this time is that the former football star won't profit from the telecast, which will use the tapes to assemble a special that will also feature experts discussing the case. Soledad O'Brien will host the show, which Fox will air with limited commercial interruptions as well as public-service announcements about domestic abuse. (O'Brien is a former CNN anchor and left company in 2013)

Fox executives haven't hidden their disappointment over the return of "American Idol," with ABC making a deal for the show after the network decided to end it, citing a decline in its ratings relative to the cost.

In August, Fox executive Dana Walden said the network felt it would be "fraudulent" to viewers to bring the show back so soon after its much-ballyhooed finale, admitting that the network had been knocked "a little bit back on our heels" at the prospect of it returning so soon.

In its earlier days, Fox had a reputation of ordering provocative unscripted specials, some of which never saw the light of day, including plans to crash an airplane in the desert. The network's press release promotes "The Lost Confession?" as a "explosive television event."

Simpson was paroled in October, after serving nine years in prison for kidnapping and armed robbery.

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
29° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 23°
Albert Lea
Overcast
28° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 28°
Austin
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 30°
Charles City
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 24°
Rochester
Overcast
27° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 20°
Light snow and steady temps
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sara's Daybreak Forecast - Thursday

${item.thumbnail.title}

StormTeam 3: Another Inch of Snow Before the Weekend

Image

SAW: Taylor DeFrang from Dover-Eyota

Image

Twins Winter Caravan stops in Rochester

Image

Chris' PM Weather Forecast 1/22

Image

One-on-one with Joe Biden

Image

Biden talks foreign policy

Image

The future of Rochester Public Library

Image

Ramp 6: What's next?

Image

City Salaries going up

Community Events