The delayed would-be second season of Ryan Murphy's nonfiction anthology series "American Crime Story," based around the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is now back on track, and will debut as the third season of the show. Most of the previously-announced cast may likely depart, however, though frequent Murphy collaborator Sarah Paulson is still on board and set to become the lead.
Deadline reports that Murphy has acquired new source material for the season, which will now be based on the book "Five Days at Memorial" by Pultizer Prize winner Sheri Fink. The tome tells the harrowing tale of the staff at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans deciding what to do with critically ill patients, who are trapped for days at the hospital without power following the devastating storm. The team, led by Dr. Anna Pou, ultimately chose to euthanize the patients; the hospital, however, is eventually evacuated, and Pou and two nurses were later charged with homicide.
Paulson will play Pou, though it's unclear who will join her in the ensemble. Several big names were previously attached to the series, including Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, and Dennis Quaid; Deadline reports that while producers are hoping to find new roles for those actors, no one aside from Paulson has officially signed on to the new story yet.
Production had stalled on "Katrina" thanks in part to producers being unable to pinpoint which part of the disaster's story they wanted to tell, with FX officials noting as recently as just a few days ago that there hadn't been any headway on the season. "Katrina" was eventually swapped with what was originally proposed to be the third "American Crime Story" outing, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace," which will now debut in 2018.
With a new story and a new lead, production is expected to begin sometime next year. Murphy is currently eyeing a premiere date of spring 2019. Stay tuned for more details.