TV Surf Report: True Crime Trending Despite Salacious Stories That Make For Less-Than-Compelling Entertainment


Santa Monica, CATrue Crime Is Not My Genre.

For some reason, I actively shy away from these dramas especially when I lived through the years involving the court case or the television coverage of the murder, crime or scandal (i.e., The People Vs OJ Simpson; Jon Benet Ramsey). In many cases, the victims and their families are still alive and are still in pain.

These stories just do not appeal to me.  I don’t find them entertaining, but apparently, lots of other people do. So get ready, fans of Joe Paterno, Princess Diana and Monica Lewinsky: This TV Is For You.


Here’s what’s in development and/or production:

  • Crimetown at FX. From the creators of The Jinx on HBO, here’s another adaptation of a Podcast, and this one’s about organized crime in Rhode Island.
  • Unsolved at USA. Josh Duhamel stars in this drama investigating the murders of two famous Rappers (Tupac, Notorious B.I.G.).  Here’s theTrailer
  • Waco at Paramount Network (formerly, Spike). Taylor Kitsch stars as cult leader David Koresh in this 6-hour miniseries about the harrowing standoff between the FBI and the Branch Davidians in Texas.  Michael Shannon and Andrea Riseborough also star.  Here is the TRAILER.
  • The Murder of  Laci Peterson at A&E. Her husband, Scott, is in prison for murdering his pregnant wife. Her poor parents.
  • Untitled Joe Paterno Story at HBO with Al Pacino starring as Joe Paterno, the legendary Penn State football coach.  Barry Levinson directs this sordid tale about college football players, coaches, and Pedophilia in the locker room showers. Paterno looked the other way when one of his coaches got way out of line with his players. The scandal is a dark mark on his legacy.
  • Linda and Monica at Amazon. Ugh. Flint Wainess’ Black List Script based on the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal is probably a good script, but whether this a good story is up for debate. The story of a stained blue dress and best friends. Heartwarming.
  • Law & Order:  True Crime – The Menendez Brothers at NBC.  Two sons of privilege in Beverly Hills murder their parents and go to prison for their crime. An 8-episode series starring Edie Falco, Anthony Edwards, Julianne Nicholson, Constance Marie, Miles Gaston Villanueva and Gus Halp. Heather Graham and Elizabeth Reaser have also joined the growing cast roster. The audience has spoken here and declared this production A FAIL.
  • American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace at FX.  Edgar Ramirez, Ricky Martin, Penelope Cruz and Darren Criss star in the story about the brutal murder of Gianni Versace on the front steps of his own home in Miami’s South Beach.  A manhunt ensued for his killer (Criss).  BBC One just picked this splashy production up for the UK.  Here is the TRAILER.


  • Murder on the Appalachian Trail. Geoff Hood and Molly LaRue (probably a distant relation) were a couple hiking the AT and were brutally murdered by a drifter. Adaptation of Earl Swift’s moving article in Outside Magazine.
  • Diana & I at BBC Two.  Story follows four ordinary people following the week of Diana’s fatal car crash in Paris.  Peter Cattaneo directs.
  • Trust at FX.  The true story of the infamous Getty kidnapping.  Brendan Fraser stars as the investigator.  True Crime and Anthology.
  • Escape at Clinton Correctional at Showtime. Benicio Del Toro and Patricia Arquette star in the limited series about two guys who escape from prison with the help of a female admirer. Ben Stiller executive produces.
  • Fever at BBC America.  Elizabeth Moss stars as Typhoid Mary, a immigrant imprisoned for spreading the disease among wealthy New England families. Based on Mary Beth Keane’s novel.  Megan Ellison and Sue Naegle of Annapurna Films executive produce.
  • A Very English Scandal for BBC One. Hugh Grant stars as a disgraced Prime Minister who was accused and acquitted of murdering his ex-lover. Stephen Frears directs.



Want more True Crime? More on this Trend can be found at SH – More True Crime Series


N E X T   U P:

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About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things Entertainment from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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