12-hour Esquire special revisits the O.J. Simpson murder trial using archival press and courtroom footage

Jeff Pfeiffer

Thanks to the recent 20th anniversary of the trial and its verdict, and, particularly, given the current FX series American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, there has been renewed interest in the so-called “trial of the century” — in which former football star O.J. Simpson was accused and eventually acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman — and its outcome, events that captivated the nation back in 1994-95. If you’re old enough, you may recall all the press reports, and the courtroom drama that played out over the early days of Court TV (which is now the entirely different network truTV). That real-world footage is a big part of Esquire Network’s 12-hour special The Real O.J. Simpson Trial.


The “Real” part of this special’s title may be a slight jab at the dramatized FX series, but it is, of course, accurate. The Real O.J. Simpson Trial is, according to Esquire, “a broadcast marathon recapping the trial from opening arguments to final verdict, featuring archival footage straight from the courtroom … Viewers will relive the most intriguing, controversial and poignant moments from the trial, including opening statements from both the prosecution and the defense, key witness and police testimonies, the infamous ‘gloves’ moment, closing statements and, finally, the stunning verdict that was delivered on October 3, 1995. No re-enactments, voice-overs, dramatics or theatrics can replace the facts and the polarizing figures who were in that courtroom every day during the trial.”

The special airs April 3 from 9am-9pm ET/PT on Esquire.

The network provided the following rundown of footage from the trial that will be featured:

9am-10am: “The Kickoff” – Opening Statements by prosecutors Marcia Clark, Christopher Darden and “Dream Team” defense lead, Johnnie Cochran.

10am-11am: “Dead-Ball, Foul Play” – Opening Statements continue and new witnesses not disclosed by the defense allow state prosecutor Marcia Clark an additional opening statement.

11am-12pm: “The F Word” — Former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman testifies.

12pm-1pm: “I Plead The Fifth” — Defense witnesses testify. Fuhrman makes a stunning return. F.Lee Bailey enthralls the media.

1pm-2pm: “Take Care of The Hands That Take Care Of You” — A particular pair of gloves holds the courtroom’s attention.

2pm-3pm: “Is Kato Your Middle Name?” – Struggling actor and Simpson guest-house occupant, Brian “Kato” Kaelin begins a multi-day appearance.

3pm-4pm: “Never Live With Someone That Won The Heisman” — Testimony continues with Brian “Kato” Kaelin.

4pm-5pm: “Did We Just Have An Earthquake: Thumps On The Wall” — Brian “Kato” Kaelin wraps up his time on the stand then faces the waiting media.

5pm-6pm: “Running Back” — Closing arguments by prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, defense team Johnnie Cochran and Barry Scheck.

6pm-7pm: “Milking the Clock” — Closing arguments by prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, defense team Johnnie Cochran and Barry Scheck.

7pm-8pm: “Play To The Whistle” — Closing arguments continue. Rebuttals by the prosecution.

8pm-9pm: “If It Don’t Fit, You Must Acquit” — Closing arguments, rebuttal and the verdict of the trial of the century.

The Real O.J. Simpson Trial airs April 3 from 9am-9pm ET/PT on Esquire Network.