Scripps' Court TV to Launch in U.K.

The Menendez Brothers
Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images

In 1993, millions of viewers tuned in to the first trial of Erik and Lyle Menendez for the shotgun slayings of their parents (It was one of Court TV’s first high-profile broadcasts). But the judge declared a mistrial on January 13, 1994, after jurors could not agree on a manslaughter or first-degree sentence. The brothers’ second trial was not televised and ended with a conviction of both Menendez’s for murder in the first-degree and two consecutive life-in-prison terms.

The criminal trial channel crosses the Atlantic a year after rebooting in North America. 

Having relaunched in the U.S. last year after a decade-long absence, Court TV is now set to cross the Atlantic.

The channel — owned by Katz Networks, part of The E.W. Scripps Company — will launch in the U.K. on Comcast's Sky, with more carriage agreements expected to be announced over time.

Like in the U.S., Court TV's U.K.'s channel will offer daily insight and analysis of ongoing American criminal trials, alongside content to explain the differences between the two countries' legal  systems, including why cameras are allowed in courtrooms in the U.S. but not in the U.K.

Upcoming trials to feature on the channel include some of the most widely-debated and contentious in recent history, such as that of the four Minneapolis police officers linked to the death of George Floyd earlier this year, and the three white men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was shot while jogging through a south Georgia neighborhood. Another is the "The Jinx" Murder Trial of Robert Durst, a wealthy New York City real estate heir who faces first-degree murder charges in California as police allege he killed his longtime friend Susan Berman, while R. Kelly is also set to face numerous racketeering and sex trafficking charges involving five women.

“There’s been nothing like Court TV in the United Kingdom until now,” said Jonathan Katz, president and CEO of Katz Networks. “American crime dramas have long been a staple on television worldwide, including the U.K., while global consumer interest in the real-life drama of true-crime programming has skyrocketed, with American reality crime content as the most-watched. Court TV is the only network covering these cases and these events live, as they happen, from start to finish. We anticipate viewers in the UK will embrace having a front-row seat to American criminal justice.”

The U.K. launch of Court TV coincides with the 25th anniversary of the O.J. Simpson murder trial verdict, which saw the former American football star and Naked Gun star found not guilty of double murder on Oct. 3, 1995.

On Oct. 3 and Oct. 4, Court TV will present a marathon of its 25-episode original docuseries OJ25, which looks back at the world-famous case, encapsulating the courtroom action in chronological order.