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Premiere Date Announced for Ryan Murphy's Aaron Hernandez Series

Premiere Date Announced for Ryan Murphy’s Aaron Hernandez Series

Back in 2021, FX greenlit a new series titled American Sports Story from Ryan Murphy, the mind behind American Horror Story. The first season set out to depict the life of Aaron Hernandez, the former Florida and New England Patriots tight end who was later convicted of murder. Though the series had progressed significantly by January last year with scripts nearly complete, the production faced delays due to last summer and fall’s SAG-AFTRA strike. Despite these setbacks, the series now has a confirmed premiere date and a full cast list ready to go.

According to Deadline’s Denise Petski, the series is slated to premiere on FX on September 17. For those who prefer streaming, it will be available on Hulu the next day. The 10-episode limited series is adapted from the podcast Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc., produced by The Boston Globe and Wondery. This series explores the meteoric rise and tragic downfall of NFL superstar Aaron Hernandez, portrayed by Josh Rivera. It delves into various aspects of his identity, touching on his family, career, suicide, and the broader legacy he left in both sports and American culture.

The show boasts a strong cast lineup. Jaylen Barron plays Shayanna Jenkins, Aaron’s fiancée, while Lindsay Mendez appears as Tanya Singleton, his cousin. The roles of Hernandez’s older brother DJ and his mother Terri Hernandez are taken by Ean Castellanos and Tammy Blanchard, respectively. Other prominent characters include Tony Yazbeck portraying Urban Meyer and Patrick Schwarzenegger as Tim Tebow. Thomas Sadoski takes on the role of Brian Murphy, with Jake Cannavale as Chris and Norbert Leo Butz playing the iconic Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Josh Rivera, known for his roles in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes and the 2021 rendition of West Side Story, has been cast as Hernandez. Tony Yazbeck and Norbert Leo Butz, both veterans of Broadway, play the two pivotal coaches. Yazbeck’s credits include On The Town and Finding Neverland, while Butz’s portfolio boasts My Fair Lady. Patrick Schwarzenegger, son of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appeared in Warning and Stowaway, adds another notable name to the cast.

The 2018 podcast that inspired the series was hosted by Bob Hohler, a sports investigative and enterprise reporter for The Boston Globe. The Globe also published a six-part companion series based on the same investigative reporting by their renowned Spotlight team. The podcast garnered positive reviews, including one from AA’s Sean Keeley, who highlighted its exploration of critical issues surrounding football and its impact on troubled individuals like Hernandez.

Though the official announcement for this series came out in August 2021, the process of bringing such projects to fruition can be lengthy. The production faced further delays due to last fall’s strike. Now, with a premiere date set, it remains to be seen how well the series handles the complexities of Aaron Hernandez’s story.

Source: Deadline, Awful Announcing