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Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

True Crime Boom: Recent Releases Spotlight What Platforms Want (Part 1)

The True Crime genre earns ever more attention — and greenlights, from platforms worldwide.

My editorial associate Camran Shealy surveyed recently announced or released True Crime projects, summarizing of 20+ of them here.

  • Everyone’s doing it: commissioners include Netflix, Discovery+, Peacock, ARD Germany and hulu.
  • Netflix dominates Camran’s selection, as expected given its nearly $20 billion annual spend on programs.
  • Sub-genres range from Online Predators (The Tinder Swindler) and Celebrity Sexual Abusers (Cosby, Saville) to Business Cons, and more.

What Producers Need to Consider

Our special coverage of the genre was launched by veteran media executive and consultant Ed Hersh.

Below is our True Crime Survey (Part 1), and the link to part 2.


The Tinder Swindler

  • Shimon Hayut allegedly posed as Simon Leviev and claimed to be the son of a diamond mogul on the popular dating app, Tinder.
  • Under his false identity, he would charm women and persuade them to loan him money, swindling an estimated $10 million from victims across the globe.

Commissioner: Netflix

Director: Felicity Morris

Production Companies

Executive Producers

Coverage


We Need to Talk About Cosby

  • Writer/director W. Kamau Bell’s exploration of Bill Cosby’s descent from “America’s Dad” to alleged sexual predator.
  • Comedians, journalists and survivors have a candid, first of its kind conversation about the man, his career and crimes.

Commissioner: Independent

Director: Kamau Bell

Production Companies

Executive Producers

Coverage


Jimmy Saville: A British Horror Story

  • Jimmy Savile once ruled the airwaves with a quirky persona and good works.
  • So how did this very British icon manage to hide his many alleged bad deeds for so long?

 

Commissioner: Netflix

Director: Rowan Deacon

Production Company: 72 Films

Executive Producers

Coverage


Scream: The True Story

  • Explores the horrific story of serial killer Danny Rolling, aka The Gainesville Ripper, who believed he was a possessed by a demon and whose gruesome crime spree inspired the blockbuster movie Scream (1996).

Commissioner: Discovery+

Production Companies: Campfire

Producers

Coverage


The Most Hated Man on the Internet

The Crime

  • Reveals the story of the woman who stood up to Hunter Moore, the self-proclaimed “professional life ruiner,” after photos of her naked daughter were posted online.

Commissioner: Netflix

Director: Rob Miller

Production Companies

Executive Producers

Coverage


Perfect World: A Deadly Game

The Crime

  • A group of gamers tries to track down an internet troll named Menhaz after he claims to have killed two of his family members, and intends to continue his murder spree.

Commissioner: NBC Universal / Peacock

Production Company: Lusid Media

Executive Producers

Coverage


Bad Vegan

  • Documentary centers around the scandal involving Pure Food and Wine owners Sarma Melngailis and Anthony Strangis.
  • Both were ultimately arrested on a litany of charges including grand larceny, tax fraud, defrauding investors, and violations of labor law.

Commissioner: Netflix

Director: Chris Smith

Executive Producers

Coverage


Our Father

  • After a woman’s at-home DNA test reveals multiple half-siblings, she discovers a shocking scheme involving donor sperm and a popular fertility doctor.

Commissioner: Netflix

Director: Lucie Jourdan

Production Company: Blumhouse Productions

Executive Producer: Ariane Wu

Press coverage


Wild Crime

  • Follows the uniquely qualified team of special agents that are responsible for investigating crimes that occur in the National Park System, as they tackle cases and bring law and order to this public land.

Commissioner: ABC News Studios

Director: Lisa Quijano Wolfinger

Production Companies

Executive Producers

Coverage


BTK: Confessions of a Serial Killer

  • Features conversations with serial killer Dennis Rader from a Kansas maximum security prison, to examine his crimes and psyche.

Commissioner: A&E

Director: Cynthica Childs

Production Companies

Executive Producers

Coverage


More True Crime Coverage

  • Read more of Camran Shealy’s selection of recently announced True Crime productions in True Crime Boom: Recent Releases Spotlight What Producers Need to Consider (Part 2)
  • Here is the link.

Music Docs: $25 Mn Budgets!?


More Reading

  • Read more of Camran Shealy’s selection of recently announced True Crime productions

My Webinars + MIPCOM Workshop

How to Develop Your Documentary Concept into a Compelling Pitch, with Tom Jennings

  • Tom Jennings is the inspiring Peabody & PGA award-winning producer for leading channels & platforms worldwide.
  • In our webinar, Tom will answer your questions about how to find a great idea for an unscripted show, and then develop the concept into winning pitch.
  • The webinar is for subscribers to my Desktop Documentaries Watch for more details!
  • Thursday, September 8, 10am/PT, 1pm/ET.

Netflix & the Streamers: the latest on what they buy and what they pay

  • I join Show&Tell’s Keith Ochwat to discuss the streamers’ evolving content needs.
  • Webinar is for Show&Tell subscribers. Watch out for details.
  • Thursday, September 15, 1245pm / PT,  345pm/ET.

MIPCOM

  • I’m very excited about attending MIPCOM, starting Sunday, October 16 in Cannes.
  • On Wednesday October 19, I’ll moderate an afternoon session dedicated to three revealing Unscripted Case Studies.
  • Details to follow.