Virtual O.J.

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LOS ANGELES: For O.J. Simpson fanatics disappointed by the media blackout of his wrongful death trial and not patient enough to wait for the TV movies, E! Entertainment Television may have a remedy. Beginning Wednesday night, the cable TV channel will use actors to recreate testimony from Simpson's civil trial in a daily one-hour prime time show. Stephen Eskridge, who appeared in the movies "Personal Best" and "The Seduction," will portray Simpson. The dramatization will employ trial transcripts, necessitating a one-day delay in coverage because of the time it takes to obtain transcripts. "Our goal has always been to make sure it's honest and fair, without editorializing and without sensationalizing," said John Reiber, the network's vice president of programming. E!'s coverage will also include analysis from former Simpson lawyer Alan Dershowitz and former Los Angeles District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi, who prosecuted Charles Manson. While the reenactment will be clearly labeled as a simulation, critics contend it can only serve to further erode the credibility of the media. But if E! can generate ratings that make other networks jealous, can a Simpson mini-series be far behind? -- Josh Dubow