John Travolta Joins 'American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson'

The actor's first TV recurring role since 'Welcome Back, Kotter' will be portraying lawyer Robert Shapiro in the 10-episode anthology

John Travolta will be joining the cast of 'American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson." Credit: Philip Cheung/Getty Images

From Cuba Gooding, Jr. as O.J. Simpson to Ross from Friends playing Kim Kardashian's father, attorney Robert Kardashian, the upcoming TV series American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson has featured some jaw-dropping cast decisions. However, that was just a teaser for what producers had planned next: John Travolta will portray lawyer Robert Shapiro, one of the main characters in ACS and a key member of Simpson's "Dream Team" of lawyers at the infamous 1995 murder trial.

For Travolta, his spot on American Crime Story marks the first time the actor has had a recurring role on television since he played Vinnie Barbarino on Welcome Back, Kotter from 1975 to 1979, Variety reports. After 1980's Urban Cowboy, from that point on, Travolta was almost exclusively a movie star. His most recent appearance in a fictional role was one-off on his Look Who's Talking co-star Kirstie Alley's TV Land sitcom Kirstie.

The actor joins Gooding, Schwimmer and American Horror Story vet Sarah Paulson as lead prosecutor Marcia Clark in the 10-episode miniseries produced by AHS mastermind Ryan Murphy. Travolta will also serve as producer on the first installment of the American Crime Story anthology, based on Jeffrey Toobin's book The Run of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson and one of Rolling Stone's 68 reasons 2015 will rule.

The series will examine the famous murder trial from the perspective of both the prosecution and the defense, offering a behind-the-scenes look at how Simpson was found not guilty in the murders of Ronald Goldman and Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown. Production on the FX series is set to start early 2015 in Los Angeles.