For Fox, time, competitive zeal and spite add up to "O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?," a two-hour special -- cobbled together from material the network opted not to air a dozen years ago.
Social media was in a frenzy during the special, with users giving their take on whether O.J. Simpson committed the crimes. Posts were tagged #DidOJConfess, which was trending throughout the night.
**See some of those posts at the bottom of this page**
According to Fox, the "lost" tapes of Simpson's interview with then-HarperCollins publisher Judith Regan were recently discovered, as opposed to having been held to be used for just such an occasion.
Simpson is asked to speculate about "what might have happened," as Regan couches it, on the night of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman in 1994.
Simpson was later acquitted of the murders in a highly publicized trial, but found responsible in a subsequent civil suit.
During the interview, Simpson at first resists discussing the killings but then proceeds to answer, appearing at several points to validate the prosecution's timeline and theory of the case. He also lapses into tenses that don't sound speculative, saying at one point that "Obviously I must have" taken a glove off after the killing, given that one was found at the scene.
In perhaps the strangest portion, Simpson discusses a friend, who he only calls "Charlie," who went with him to confront Brown and handed him the knife.
Simpson also refers to blacking out; the vast amount of blood spilled ("It was horrible"); having been "fed up" with Nicole for bringing what he considered unsavory characters around his children; sneaking back into his house after the murders; and Goldman striking a karate stance when confronted.
The interview was conducted for a planned TV special in conjunction with a book, "If I Did It." Simpson says his motivation for talking is "financial, to a degree," but also refers to it as being "almost cathartic."
Under criticism at the time, Fox backed out of both the book and special, with Rupert Murdoch -- the head of News Corp., which owns both the network and the publishing house -- apologizing for the project. Regan was fired, and subsequently settled a $100-million lawsuit against the company.
The book was eventually published elsewhere.
Regan was among a panel of experts who will participate in the broadcast, among them Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden and retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente.
The special was produced by Terence Wrong, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, and was hosted by Soledad O'Brien.
Wrong said the producers reached out to Simpson, who did not respond.
In a statement obtained by CNN, an attorney for Fred Goldman said the family welcomed "the airing of these tapes."
"While justice has eluded our family, Fox Entertainment enables everyone to make their own judgment," the statement added.
Simpson was released from prison in October, having served time for kidnapping and armed robbery in his attempt to recover sports memorabilia.
This whole interview is going to be used in psychology classes & the study of human sociopathic behavior. #DidOJConfess
— Nika be™ (@NikaBe_) March 12, 2018
OJ giving the most detailed & elaborate hypothetical murder recounting ever #DidOjConfess
— sabreigha (@sabreigha) March 12, 2018
OJ Simpson was innocent... the gloves didn’t fit
— Red Bottom Reggie (@ct_4yf) March 8, 2018
How can you talk an laugh so non chalantly about your ex wife’s murder...? #DidOJConfess
— Sugaxoxo (@sugaX0X0) March 12, 2018
Can they let this man Live please #OJSimpson
— KHUMALO SILUNGILE (@slungilekayy) March 12, 2018