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Studio 54: American Crime Story Being Developed at FX as Limited Series’ Potential Fourth Installment

Studio 54: American Crime Story was officially confirmed by FX today as the fourth installment of the series, Deadline is reporting. The news comes after the show’s executive producer, Ryan Murphy, first shared the idea for the season on Deadline’s Crew Call in June.

American Crime Story’s fourth installment will chronicle the story of Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, who turned their title Midtown Manhattan disco into an internationally renowned nightclub in 1977. Studio 54 soon became most known for its lavish parties, music and open drug use. After the entrepreneurs’ quick and epic rise came their notable fall less than three years later, when they were convicted of tax fraud.

Studio 54 was raided in December 1978 after Rubell was quoted as saying that only the Mafia made more money than the club brought in. He and his business partner were eventually charged with tax evasion, obstruction of justice and conspiracy for reportedly skimming nearly $2.5 million in unreported income from the club’s receipts. After the duo’s arrests, police reports noted that cash and receipts were in the building. The evidence was hidden in the ceiling of Rubell’s office, where he and Schrager both worked.

After being convicted, the club owners were sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison and fined $20K each for the tax-evasion charge. In February 1980, Rubell and Schrager began their prison sentences. Studio 54 was later sold in November of that year for $4.75 million to Mark Fleischman. He reopened it, then sold it in 1984 to new owners, who eventually closed the famed club in 1986.

Murphy told Deadline that he’s interested in making Studio 54: American Crime Story because When I was a child, in Indiana, getting the Liz Smith column in the Indianapolis Star, reading about it, I’m like, ‘Oh! I wanna go there.’ I love what it’s about. I love that time and place. But I also feel like, it’s a story of excess and a story of two guys who had a dream and took the dream too far and paid for it. I love Ian Schrager’s work, and I think he’s a genius. It’ an interesting story to tell through the prism of American Crime Story.

Studio 54: American Crime Story will air after the third and next season of the series, Impeachment: American Crime Story, is set to premiere at 10 pm Tuesday, September 7 on FX. The installment will follow the fallout of President Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, through the eyes of the women at the center of the events, including Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein), Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson) and Paula Jones (Annaleigh Ashford).

The next two seasons of American Crime Story come after the show premiered in 2016 with The People v. O.J. Simpson. It was followed by The Assassination of Gianni Versace two years later, in 2018. The first two installments were critically acclaimed, and won numerous accolades, including 14 Emmy Awards.

Karen Benardello
Karen Benardello
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.


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