America’s obsession with OJ Simpson continues. The former football star and murder suspect is due to appear in court for a parole hearing on July 20, and it will be broadcast live on ESPN and covered in special segments on NBC News. More than 240 press credentials have been granted for the hearing, USA Today reports, suggesting that this relatively irrelevant court proceeding is already shaping up to be a media circus.
In 1995, 57 percent of the U.S. tuned in to watch the verdict in the highly publicized 1995 trial in which Simpson was charged with murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. He was famously declared not guilty, but is currently serving time for a 2007 armed robbery. Despite being out of the public eye for several years, Simpson has recently been the subject of the six-hour ESPN 30 for 30 documentary OJ: Made in America and the Emmy Award-winning FX mini series The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
Evidently, networks are still looking to cash in on the drawing power of Simpson’s criminality and the conversations about race, crime, and celebrity that his murder trial prompted. And as the USA Today report points out, if Simpson is granted parole at the July 20, the media circus may be even wilder come October, when he would be eligible for release.