O.J. Simpson’s name stayed in the news throughout much of 2016 thanks to FX’s hit show American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson and ESPN’s excellent documentary O.J.: Made in America. Even though Simpson himself remained locked behind bars in Nevada on armed robbery and kidnapping convictions following a September 2007 incident, he was the topic of discussion for many people over the course of the year. And it sounds like Simpson might be on the tip of everyone’s tongue in 2017, too.
According to the terms of the sentence he received when he was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in October 2008, Simpson will be eligible for parole in October 2017. And according to TMZ, there are a number of reality TV show producers who are already interested in shining a spotlight on Simpson’s post-prison life if and when he gets out.
TMZ spoke with a handful of reality TV production companies this week about the possibility of Simpson getting his own TV show or TV special once he’s released. Some said they wouldn’t even consider working with Simpson because of his background. But quite a few companies said they would be down to do it, and they cited the success of shows like The People v. O.J. Simpson and O.J.: Made in America as evidence that the American people are still extremely interested in learning more about Simpson and his life.
But the producers who told TMZ they would be open to working on a show with Simpson admitted that there would be one big problem with doing it. They said most TV networks would refuse to air the show since advertisers would object to it. But many of them believe there could be a pay-per-view format that would allow for people interested in Simpson to watch a show about him, which would negate the need for a TV network. And of course, there are multiple ways to cut the networks out of the equation in 2017 by broadcasting shows online.
If Simpson did take part in a show, he wouldn’t be able to profit much from it. He still owes more than $30 million to the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman stemming from a 1997 wrongful death judgment. But he could use any proceeds from the show to pay back a portion of that judgment, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him go the reality TV route.