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January 12, 2018

Johnson City Press - Johnson City, TN - Select TV

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BY JAY BOBBIN 'American Crime Story' Season 2 dramatizes the Gianni Versace murder Just as executive producer Ryan Murphy has told a different tale with each season of "American Horror Story," the same is true of his "American Crime Story." That stands to reason in the latter case, since that series is telling finite, true stories. First was the nine-Emmy-winning "The People v. O.J. Simpson," and though Hurricane Katrina was envisioned as the second subject, that has turned out instead to be "The Assassination of Gianni Versace," which begins its 10-episode FX run Wednesday, Jan. 17. Opening with an elegantly staged sequence directed by Murphy and detailing the actual 1997 crime in Miami Beach, the drama stars Edgar Ramirez ("The Girl on the Train") as iconic fashion designer Versace, Penelope Cruz as his sister Donatella, singer-actor Ricky Martin as Versace's longtime partner Antonio D'Amico, and Murphy-show veteran Darren Criss ("Glee") as serial killer Andrew Cunanan. "I think the thing about 'American Crime Story,'" says Murphy, "is that we're not just (dramatizing) a crime. We're trying to talk about a crime within a social idea. This was always interesting to us because the idea was that Versace, who was the last victim, really did not have to die. Part of the thing that we talk about in the show is, one of the reasons Andrew Cunanan was able to make his way across the country and pick off these victims – many of whom were gay – was because of homophobia at the time. "Homophobia (factored in)," Murphy maintains, "particularly within the various police organizations that refused in Miami to put up 'Wanted' posters, even though they knew that Andrew Cunanan had probably committed many of these murders and was probably headed that way ... all of which we deal with in the show. I thought that that was a really interesting thing to examine, to look at again, particularly with the president we have and the world that we live in." Ramirez explains his principal interest in playing Versace "has to do with (his) being haunted. Both being haunted and hunted. And I think that is something that I really connected to, a character that basically came into the States to change everything, forever. The world that we live in is a world, aesthetically, that basically Gianni Versace created. For the first time, he combined sexiness and glamour and opulence, like no one has ever done before. He could see the sexiness of the '70s, and then all the opulence of the '80s, and he sensed that in the '90s. And he combined it, and everybody went crazy. So I think that it's a disrupter, and I was very attracted to that." Criss equally was intrigued about portraying Cunanan, and he reports that in preparing, he found "an overabundance of information." Still, he notes there were "a lot of blanks to fill in, which has been a very interesting ride. People have come out of the woodwork to talk to me about Andrew, which has been a delight for me. "Andrew was so many different personalities to so many different people," Criss adds, "so in a way, for me, that makes things a bit easier because we're not just following what we would assume to be a murderous, horrible person all the time. We see him at his best; we see him at his worst; we see him at his most charming; we see him at his most hurt. And it's all over the place. We really do get to know him as a person." Darren Criss January 13 - 19, 2018 2 JOHNSON CITY (TN) PRESS cover story this week Cable Conversion Guide Charter Comcast Charter Mt. City Direct TV Dish Network 2 WETP – PBS 2 2 2 – – 4 WCYP– DT2 – CW 4 11 4 6 28 5 WCYB – NBC 5 5 5 5 5 11 WJHL – CBS 11 6 11 11 11 19 WKPT – MyTV 6 9 9 19 19 30 WAPK – MyTV 182 232 182 36 36 39 WEMT – FOX 10 7 10 39 39 68 WLFG – IND 8 3 8 68 68 A&E Arts & Ent. 46 35 46 265 118 AMC Am. Movie Classics 58 47 58 254 131 ANPL Animal Planet 52 53 52 282 184 BET Black Ent. 60 38 60 329 124 CMT Country Music TV 68 41 68 327 166 CNBC CNBC 39 31 39 355 208 CNN CNN 41 28 41 202 200 COMC Comedy Central 65 49 65 249 107 CSPAN CSPAN 19 19 19 350 210 DISC Discovery 47 26 47 278 182 DISN Disney Channel 54 136 54 290 172 E! E! Ent. News 23 33 23 236 114 ESPN ESPN 31 13 31 206 140 ESPN2 ESPN2 32 42 32 209 143 FNC Fox News Channel 43 32 43 360 205 FOOD Food Network 50 70 50 231 110 FREE Freeform 53 36 53 311 180 FSS Fox Sports South 33 – 33 676 416 FX FX 30 51 30 248 136 GOLF Golf Channel 35 30 35 218 401 HALL Hallmark Channel 89 137 89 312 185 HGTV Home & Garden TV 51 40 51 229 112 HIST History Channel 44 126 44 269 120 HLN Headline News 42 29 42 204 202 LIFE Lifetime 25 54 25 252 108 MSNBC MSNBC 40 185 40 356 209 MTV Music Television 66 52 66 331 160 NICK Nickelodeon 55 56 55 299 170 QVC QVC 13 12 13 275 137 OXY Oxygen 61 123 61 251 127 SPIKE Spike TV 64 24 64 241 241 SYFY Syfy 63 50 63 244 122 TBS WTBS – Superchannel 27 25 27 247 139 TCM Turner Classic Movies 59 – 59 256 132 TLC The Learning Channel 26 39 26 280 183 TNT Turner Network TV 28 27 28 245 138 TOON Cartoon Network 56 60 56 296 176 TRAVEL Travel Channel 49 260 49 277 196 TRUTV Tru TV 45 54 45 246 242 TVLAND TV Land 57 34 57 304 106 USA USA Network 29 37 29 242 105 VH1 Video Hits 1 67 46 67 335 162 WGNA WGN America 18 8 18 307 239 HBO Home Box Office 501 302 501 501 300 MAX Cinemax 549 320 549 515 310 SHOW Showtime 561 340 561 545 318 TMC The Movie Channel 598 350 598 553 327 STZENC Starz Encore 644 150 644 535 340

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