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Bundy doc joins Discovery true crime line-up

Investigation Discovery will air Ted Bundy: Mind of a Monster in August

US factual giant Discovery is doubling down on the true crime genre with docs about Ted Bundy and the ‘Hicks Babies’ scandal, as well as a murder-themed series fronted by ABC News’ Sunny Hostin.

A slew of commissions and premiere dates were unveiled by Discovery for its various US cablenets at its presentation to the Television Critics’ Association yesterday.

They include Mind of a Monster, a new true crime franchise produced by UK indie Arrow Media that will start on August 18 with Ted Bundy: Mind of a Monster on Investigation Discovery.

Serial killer Bundy’s crimes spanned the US, included two prison escapes, and ended with the death penalty. The 30-year anniversary of his death has spawned numerous projects this year, including a feature film starring Zach Efron and a Netflix documentary series from Joe Berlinger.

Investigation Discovery is also readying Truth About Murder with Sunny Hostin for a premiere on October 22.

The 6×60’ series, produced by US indies Lincoln Square Productions and First Watch Productions will take the senior legal correspondent from ABC News around the sites of America’s most perplexing cases, to interview the detectives, prosectors, coroners and families involved.

Sky-owned Jupiter Entertainment has also been given a second-season order for its ID series In Pursuit With John Walsh, which aims to bring fugitives to justice and find missing children.

Female-skewing lifestyle net TLC is also getting in on the true crime trend with Taken at Birth from ITV America-owned Good Caper Content.

The programme will air as a three-night stripped event series of three two-hour episodes in October and shares the untold stories of the so-called Hicks Babies – some of the more than 200 newborns illegally sold or given away from the back steps of a small-town Georgia clinic run by Dr Thomas J Hicks during the 1950s and 1960s.

In 1997, a story broke revealing that Hicks was alleged to have spearheaded a black-market baby ring out of his clinic, denying hundreds of babies their true identities and biological families. Since the undercover operation was exposed, many Hicks Babies have desperately searched for their origins, yet decades later, they are still looking for their birth parents.

Elsewhere in Discovery’s TCA, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced its new drama series, David Makes Man from Academy Award-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight) and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, will premiere on August 14 following the network’s drama Queen Sugar.

The flagship Discovery Channel will give an August 6 premiere to Undercover Billionaire, its new format from US indie This Is Just a Test in which billionaire Glenn Stearns shed his identity and tries to make his fortune all over again, starting with just US$100 and his business knowledge.

Food Network, meanwhile, has signed an exclusive deal with food blogger and cookbook author Molly Yeh for new episodes of daytime series Girl Meets Farm and multi-platform content.

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