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How the Trial of the Century Started a News Media and Reality TV Revolution

It’s official. The People vs. O.J. Simpson has pulled me into a whirlwind of late night Google searches, and my search history is now full of things like “Who is Kato Kaelin”, “O.J. bloody glove” and “Did Robert Kardashian really think O.J. was innocent”. I was only 5 or 6 years old when this all went down so a lot of what I’m seeing and learning is all new to me. I am OBSESSED and not even a little ashamed to say so.

There are so many things I love about the series – Sarah Paulson’s gripping portrayal of lead prosecutor Marsha Clark, the scene depicting the famous Bronco chase and cameos from all the players in this saga, like Faye Resnick and Kris Jenner. But what stands out the most to me is the way the series is drawing a connection between the media coverage of the case and how it influenced pop culture today. The live broadcast of the Bronco chase and round-the-clock trial coverage launched a new era of entertainment that left audiences begging for more.

Let’s face it; reality television has become an institution in today’s pop culture. So on that note, I pose this question to you – what comes to mind when you think of reality TV and the media? As much as I’m sure you don’t want to admit it, it’s likely that the Kardashian name comes to mind. What’s really interesting here is that Robert Kardashian was in fact the first member of the famous family introduced to the public through the media, when he read O.J.’s “suicide note” on television.

With that said, can we credit the O.J. media circus for paving the way for the Kardashian’s dominant presence in the media and reality TV today? I think we’d all agree that it not only played a major role in the family’s rise to fame, but the face of live broadcast and reality television as a whole, leaving a permanent mark on American entertainment.

Tune in to FX tonight at 10 p.m. to catch the next episode!