Calling them “both epic stories—one fiction, one fact—that have captivated millions of people worldwide,” then tantalizingly refusing to say which one is which, Fox programmer Shana Waterman has announced plans to create new multipart “event series” based on James Clavell’s Shogun and Jeffrey Toobin’s The Run Of His Life: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson. “One is the story of men wielding blades to solve their problems, the other is Shogun,” Waterman would have said, if she were a little more fun. Anyway, the Shogun remake will assuredly be compared to the smash hit NBC version in 1980, which found Richard Chamberlain taking on the role of the 17th-century British sailor who earns the respect of Japanese samurai by allowing himself to be used by them. The retelling of the O.J. trial, meanwhile, will mostly only have to compete with America’s own memories, blurred by years of television and cell phone radiation. We vaguely recall a glove and a stone-faced judge, dancing with a misty, mythical beast called “Kato,” and the sound of no one talking about this already for so many years that revisiting it seems premature.
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