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Following the success of HBO’s The Jinx, Netflix’s Making a Murderer and FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson, broadcast, cable and streaming services alike are competing to find the next watercooler obsession.
– CBS’ The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey, a six-part docuseries pegged to the 20th anniversary of the slaying and unsolved murder of former the former child beauty queen. (Sept. 18)
– Lifetime’s A Deadly Secret: The Bizarre and Chilling Story of Robert Durst as a one-off told from the point of view of his late first wife, Kathleen Durst, who was allegedly one of his first victims. Based on Matt Birkbeck’s book A Deadly Secret: The Bizarre and Chilling Story of Robert Durst. (TBD)
– TNT is readying Finding Chandra, a scripted miniseries based on Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery exploring the recently re-opened case exploring the slaying of Chandra Levy.
– Martin Sheen will exec produce and host Hard Evidence: O.J. Is Innocent for Investigation Discovery. Based on the book O.J. Is Innocent and I Can Prove It by William C. Dear. (2017)
– ID’s JonBenet: An American Murder Mystery, a three-part special from Weinstein TV and National Enquirer owner American Media Inc. (Sept. 12)
– FX’s Katrina: American Crime Story, scripted series from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk examining the 2005 hurricane, the costliest natural disaster and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history. Based on Douglas Brinkley’s The Great Deluge. (2017)
– Season one of Discovery’s Killing Fields focused on the case of a woman’s body that was found in the Louisiana swampland. (New episodes TBD)
– A&E’s The Killing of JonBenet: The Truth Uncovered will include new interviews with JonBenet Ramsey’s brother, Burke, and her father, John. (Sept. 5)
– NBC is teaming with Dick Wolf for Law & Order: True Crime — The Menendez Brothers, eight-episode drama whose first season will focus on Lyle and Erik Menedez, who were convicted of murdering their parents and sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole. (TBD)
– George Clooney is teaming with the Making a Murderer creators for Lawbreaker, a drama about Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal, a drug that the pharmaceutical company made billions of dollars from after promoting it illegally to children and the elderly — and covering up its dangerous side effects. (Network, premiere date TBD)
– Netflix will produce additional episodes of Making a Murderer focused on Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, the latter of whom was released in August. (Episode count and premiere date TBD)
– Fox 21’s Serial, scripted cable series in development with Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Sarah Koenig. The subject is being kept under wraps and the drama does not yet have a network attached. (TBD)
– Nicole Brown Simpson’s sister, Denise Brown, is developing an unscripted show for NBC News’ Peacock Productions that will investigate cases where justice has been called into question.
– CBS is developing an untitled drama exploring the 19-month search and capture of Symbionese Liberation Army sympathizer Patty Hearst. (TBD)
– Universal Cable Productions is developing The Von Bulow Affair, based on the William Wright’s The Von Bulow Affair, an exploration of the slaying of Sunny Von Bulow, the heiress and socialite whose husband was found not guilty of her death after his conviction for attempted murder was overturned.
– Waco, set up at The Weinstein Co., will star Taylor Kitsch as Branch Davidian leader David Koresch and explore the deadly 51-day standoff in Waco, Texas, between the FBI and religious sect. It’s based on A Place Called Waco and Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator. (Network, premiere date TBD)
– Lifetime’s scripted entry Who Killed JonBenet, starring Eion Bailey as the lead detective investigating Ramsey’s (Payton Lepinski) slaying. (Fall)
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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