Investigation Discovery Announces Powerful New Slate Of Suspenseful Originals For 2017-18 Upfront Season
– World Premiere Series and Specials Anchored by Network’s First Scripted Movies –
(Silver Spring, Md.) – Investigation Discovery (ID), America’s leading mystery and suspense network, and the #1 ad-supported cable network for delivery of W25-54 year-to-date, today announced a powerful new slate of compelling, emotionally riveting programming featuring Real People and Real Stories.
As cable’s only consistent destination for the popular true-crime genre, ID has garnered an unprecedented 33 consecutive quarters of primetime P2+ audience growth and maintained the #1 length of tune for W25-54 total day in all of television, cable and broadcast, for more than five years. Year to date, ID is the #2 network for P25-54 and #5 network for P2+/HH delivery in total day and, in prime, year-to-date, ID ranks #6 for W25-54 in ad-supported cable*.
“I don’t think viewers have ever experienced such an exciting explosion focused on a single genre like we are currently seeing with the success of true-crime stories and mysteries on every possible media platform,” said Henry Schleiff, Group President, Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America. “In that regard, ID has the distinct advantage of being the one and only place viewers can find original mystery and suspense content, 24/7, with its unique mix of series, specials and movies that entertain, inform and inspire.”
Highlights of this upfront season include the greenlight of ID’s first scripted limited series event, THE VON BULOW AFFAIR (wt), and the premieres of the network’s first scripted movies, DATING GAME KILLER, starring Guillermo Diaz, Carrie Preston and Robert Knepper, and FINAL VISION, starring Scott Foley and Dave Annable.
Capitalizing on the success of original non-fiction event series aired in 2016-17 including JONBENET: AN AMERICAN MURDER MYSTERY and IS O.J. INNOCENT?: THE MISSING EVIDENCE, the network will unveil several new limited event series in late 2017, including SON OF SAM: THE HUNT FOR A KILLER.
The foundation of ID’s core programming remains original non-fiction crime series, anchored by the debut of JAMES PATTERSON’S MURDER IS FOREVER and also featuring TRUE CONVICTION, with a highly regarded former Brooklyn prosecutor joining the network’s roster of experts. Other major series launching this season include nods to suspense movies with HORROR AT THE CECIL HOTEL and HOME ALONE (wt) and location-based series including MURDER IN THE HEARTLAND and the Pacific Northwest-based THE WONDERLAND MURDERS (wt).
With more than 660 hours of premieres planned for 2017 alone, ID will also renew 40 existing hit series, including viewer favorites ON THE CASE WITH PAULA ZAHN; HOMICIDE HUNTER: LT. JOE KENDA; VANITY FAIR CONFIDENTIAL; PEOPLE MAGAZINE INVESTIGATES; KILLER INSTINCT WITH CHRIS HANSEN; DEADLINE: CRIME WITH TAMRON HALL; THE CORONER: I SPEAK FOR THE DEAD; DEADLY SINS; A CRIME TO REMEMBER; and DEADLY WOMEN among others.
Major 2017-2018 titles include:
THE VON BULOW AFFAIR (wt)
The Von Bulow case was the most scandalous and sensational murder trial of the 1980s. America’s first televised trial had viewers riveted by the charges that Danish-born aristocrat Claus von Bulow tried to murder his heiress wife Sunny von Bulow – twice – to inherit her millions and marry his mistress. And yet, all most people know about the case comes from the movie Reversal of Fortune, based on a book by Claus’s defense attorney. Now, Sunny’s side of the story is told for the first time ever in THE VON BULOW AFFAIR, an exclusive new series that chronicles the tragic demise of one of America’s last dynastic families. Universal Cable Productions
DATING GAME KILLER
DATING GAME KILLER is the story of Rodney Alcala (Guillermo Diaz), a man with a near-genius IQ, whose charm and smooth talking ability landed him an appearance on the television show The Dating Game in 1978 – and, subsequently, a place in history as one of America’s most prolific serial killers. Alcala preyed on young attractive women, luring them by telling them he was a professional photographer who wanted to enter their photos in a contest. While the precise victim count remains unknown, Alcala is suspected to have killed as many as 130 women and children before he was finally captured in 1980. Through parallel storylines, DATING GAME KILLER also profiles the gut-wrenching journey of Carol Jensen (Carrie Preston) as she seeks justice for her murdered daughter; the relentless mission that Det. Jim Hamill (Robert Knepper) and his partner Greg Ryan (Matt Barr) embark upon to put Alcala behind bars; and, the plight of Alcala’s mother Anna (Alma Martinez) as she comes to the realization that her son has done the unthinkable. ThinkFactory Media
A true-crime scripted drama based on the longest-running criminal case in U.S. history, FINAL VISION is the story of Jeffrey MacDonald (Scott Foley), a handsome, Ivy League-educated Green Beret Army Doctor, who was convicted of brutally murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the middle of the night. One of the most horrifying murder cases of its time, FINAL VISION is told through the eyes of bestselling author Joe McGinniss (Dave Annable), who was approached by MacDonald and asked to write a book about his personal nightmare as he was about to go to trial. But is this a story about an innocent man being railroaded by a flawed legal system or is there something far more sinister behind the charming and heroic façade MacDonald portrays? Lincoln Square Productions
EVENTS AND SPECIALS
SON OF SAM: THE HUNT FOR A KILLER
Without any indication of who he was targeting, when he was going to strike, or where, New York City was in panic for a year while a serial killer taunted law enforcement with a fatal game of cat and mouse. Now, on the 40th anniversary of the capture of David Berkowitz, ID will air the three-part documentary special SON OF SAM: THE HUNT FOR A KILLER, tracing the parallel stories of a serial killer’s unsuspecting victims, while following the dedicated detectives who worked tirelessly to capture the man who left six young people dead, seven wounded, and countless families bereft. SON OF SAM tracks the investigative beats as a tragic mystery unfolds and finally answers the conspiracy theories that question whether the Son of Sam acted alone.
KEITH MORRISON INVESTIGATES
KEITH MORRISON INVESTIGATES features veteran journalist and Dateline NBC correspondent Keith Morrison as he covers true crime cases dominating headlines around the nation. From the prosecution of Chris Tapp to the wrongful conviction of Patricia Rorrer, each installment features interviews with those closest to the case and expert commentary from criminal profilers, psychologists, investigators and legal analysts anchored by Morrison’s unparalleled reporting.
BLACK AND BLUE
From Emmy award-winning journalist Tony Harris and the producers of Hate in America comes BLACK AND BLUE, a timely and relevant exposé into the current state of police affairs and race relations that is crippling the nation. With the recent escalation of tragic shootings by and against police, Harris will explore how these crimes are impacting communities while providing a first-hand glimpse into the lives of the black and white officers working to protect our not-so-united states. Candid conversations regarding what needs to be done to quell the accelerating fear, bloodshed, and injustice are conducted as emotions rise to the surface in this hard-hitting, one-hour special on Investigation Discovery.
THE TRIAL OF ANTHONY GRAY (wt)
Who killed James and Vivian Gray? Scott County, Ky., prosecutors say the Grays’ only son, Anthony, did – after all, he would inherit their riches. And when presented with a pile of physical evidence – he confessed on camera. The problem? The evidence they presented was forged by police. The confession was thrown out by the state Supreme Court. Now, while Anthony sits in prison, determined prosecutors and dogged public defenders must settle a Kentucky murder mystery – the story of a broken family, a mysterious gun-running ring that went through the very living room where the murders took place; a mysterious daughter who discovered the bodies – and, in real time, a final verdict on Anthony Gray – guilty or not guilty? Watch as it happens.
WORLD PREMIERE SERIES
JAMES PATTERSON’S MURDER IS FOREVER
Welcoming viewers inside the world of a completely immersive true-crime experience, JAMES PATTERSON’S MURDER IS FOREVER harnesses best-selling author James Patterson’s unrivaled storytelling success while proving once and for all that truth truly is stranger than fiction. In his first foray into true-crime television, each self-contained episode of intrigue and deceit will live both on screen and within the pages of James Patterson’s strategically co-branded Book Shots, captivating true-crime viewers and readers worldwide.
After 21 years as a prosecutor with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, where she held a 35-0 success record in the Homicide Bureau before leaving earlier this year, Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi will bring her expertise to ID with TRUE CONVICTION. The series follows Nicolazzi as she visits the scene of the crime, examines the case through the eyes of the prosecutor, and meets with key figures at the center of the case including the loved ones and investigators. Along the way, Nicolazzi shares her personal reflections and insights, connecting elements of the story to her own experiences as a prosecutor, and revealing how the complex layers of each murder investigation came together in the courtroom.
EVIL TALKS: CHILLING CONFESSIONS
A good interrogation is like a chess match, with ploys and strategies from both the investigator and the suspect as detectives must decipher what is the truth… and what is a lie. EVIL TALKS: CHILLING CONFESSIONS transports viewers into the interrogation room for the most intense questionings ever documented. Anchored by real, videotaped interrogations, each episode welcomes viewers to be a fly on the wall for the most chilling conversations in the history of crime.
When a crime occurs, it sends a shockwave across the community, rippling through families and friends of the victims and killers alike. Like a cracked piece of glass, relationships are splintered and loyalties strained in SHATTERED. Each episode takes viewers inside the lives of people whose relationships tied them to a single, devastating event – from an investigator on the trail of a killer, to a friend desperately searching for a missing friend, and a young wife closer to evil than ever imaginable. As relationships and lives shatter to pieces, who will be left standing?
THE WONDERLAND MURDERS (wt)
Hidden amongst the rolling mountains and deep forests of the pacific northwest sits a breeding ground for one of the deadliest terrains in the world. Known as a serial killer’s playground, this land once dubbed “Wonderland” due to its grandeur and summer beauty, washes away into nine dreary months of rain that bring gray skies and a falling mist that drives the demons among us to kill. These are THE WONDERLAND MURDERS.
HORROR AT THE CECIL HOTEL
Since it opened its doors in 1924, the amount of death and tragedy associated with the Cecil Hotel has been nothing short of staggering. A correlation between these sinister incidents has long been suspected, but has never been proven – until now. HORROR AT THE CECIL HOTEL is an investigative docu-series exploring a simple question: Is there an underlying evil that connects the grisly events that seem to continually haunt the Hotel Cecil?
HOME ALONE (wt)
When night falls and everyone heads home, the most welcoming of houses can transform into a sinister, unfamiliar labyrinth. Down dark corridors and behind the veneer of thin glass, a fear of the unknown lurks. In HOME ALONE, a quiet suburban house becomes the setting for unimaginable horror. Victims believe the walls around then are a safe sanctuary, but what lurks in the darkness is far more chilling than anyone could have imagined.
THE MURDER CASTLE
After years of preparation, the city of Chicago opens the Chicago World’s Fair – a 600-acrea modern marvel meant to memorialize the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the New World. But as America’s best and brightest engineers race to construct the fairgrounds, Dr. H.H. Holmes is constructing his own architectural “masterpiece”… THE MURDER CASTLE. Under the guise of a hotel, the castle is a dark and dangerous death trap filled with staircases to nowhere, sealed “death rooms” and a labyrinth that leads guests to their final resting place.
MURDER IN THE HEARTLAND
MURDER IN THE HEARTLAND is a harrowing narrative that recounts the stories of humble
Middle-American towns – and the provocative crimes that tore through them. Each town’s tale is voiced by the combined perspectives of its residents, but these citizens are more than just storytellers. All interviewees were key witnesses to each of the crimes, having held critical clues to the puzzle that forever changed their lives… and their sense of “home.”
PRIME SUSPECT (wt)
He’s a sweet kid from a nice family. That’s his story. Until one night, something horrible happens and he’s accused of murder. In an all-new true-crime series, PRIME SUSPECT dissects every detail of the investigation. When a reputation appears flawless on the surface, frivolous details later become central clues. Could these seemingly perfect characters really be cold-blooded killers?
EXTREME MEASURES (wt)
These are the incredible stories of real people taking EXTREME MEASURES to solve the murder of a loved one. Those tormented by the past do everything the investigation requires from wearing a wire to turning on a family member to going places the police don’t dare to explore. Though, while desperate for closure, they sometimes discover the facts can be just as damaging as the crime itself.
These murders were no accident. Committed with extreme premeditation – many were months or even years in the making. Riddled with psychological suspense, law enforcement must tap into the minds of chilling killers as they search for clues within the perfect murder. (ID)