Why True Crime Is Killing It On TV

Judith%20Beauchemin_CMJ%20President_2017ID renewed docu-series Fatal Vows, from CMJ Productions II Inc., for season 6. CMJ, which also produces true crime series The Will:  Family Secrets Revealed, Accident Investigator, Natural Born Outlaws, Guilty Rich, Outlaw Tech and A Stranger in my Home, announced it is developing Popular Crime with cult crime book author Bill James. Cynopsis got the lowdown on the exploding true crime landscape from CMJ Productions II Inc. President Judith Beauchemin.

Cynopsis: What is with viewers’ fascination with true crime programming?

Judith Beauchemin: Viewers continue to have an insatiable appetite for true crime because they love unsolved mysteries! People want to know what happened, try to understand the unexplainable. We find that viewers have a fascination for stories they can relate to (it could happen to me!). People love to be scared!

Also, there are lots of ways to tell the same story, it all depends on the angle that you are choosing and through whose lens the story is being told – killer, investigator, first hand witnesses, victim, etc.


Fatal Vows

How does this mature content genre remain relevant today?

​Beauchemin: It remains relevant because many of the series produced over the past few years have been focused on investigations that are still active. When watching an unsolved true crime show that can make a difference and change the course of justice and history, it feels very real…and relevant. Also, in the past few years, people use social media to give their opinion (who did it!) creating tremendous buzz for the series.

Cynopsis: What are a few examples of series that have effectively stretch the concept of true crime programming?

Beauchemin: I’d say most of the unsolved murder cases like Making a Murderer. It aired in December 2015 and then went viral over the holidays. A few months earlier, Serial (an amazing podcast) and The Jinx made breaking news as well. They all went viral on social media, viewers felt they could get involved and participate in the outcome. It also attracted a younger audience. Another great recent example would be The Keepers on Netflix.


The Cynsiders column is a platform for industry leaders to reach out to colleagues, followers, and the public at large. In their own words and in targeted Q&As, columnists address breaking news, issues of the day, and the larger changes going on in the ever-evolving world of television, video and digital. Cynsiders columns live on Cynopsis’ main page and are promoted across all daily newsletters. We welcome readers’ comments, queries, and column ideas at Lynn@Cynopsis.com.



Related Stories

04/20/18: Cynopsis Special Edition: Upfront with National Geographic

Cynopsis Special Edition: Upfront with National Geographic

CynopsisPresents: Cynopsis Special Edition: Upfront with National Geographic aa aa Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks, explains how exceptional content has lifted the brand from reverence to relevance – collecting awards, as well as audiences, along the way.   With the television landscape constantly expanding, and everyone jockeying for viewers’ and […]

04/20/18: Jane Latman takes helm at Travel Channel

Jane Latman takes helm at Travel Channel

CYNOPSIS Good morning. It’s Friday April 20, 2018 and this is your first early morning briefing.   Tonight’s Premieres: PBS: Live From Lincoln Center at 9p   Tonight’s Finale: WE tv: Bridezillas at 10p   Saturday’s Premieres: Great American Country: Building Off the Grid: Vail Lodge Cabin at 8p, Building Off the […]

Cynopsis Special Edition: UPFRONT with Azteca America

Cynopsis Special Edition: UPFRONT with Azteca America

Cynopsis Presents: Cynopsis Special Edition: UPFRONT with Azteca America Last year was a big deal for Azteca America – literally. The Spanish-language network was acquired by HC2 Network, which also bought Northstar’s broadcast television stations, significantly expanding Azteca America’s distribution. “With our purchase comes a plethora of opportunities,” says Craig Geller, Azteca’s […]