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Theme Festival - True Crime & Investigation

About this Festival

Everyone loves true crime and investigation series. We take a look at some of the biggest brands in this area of programming to uncover series that can deliver audiences for broadcasters looking for support in this area of the schedule.

Programming Profile

Making crime pay


True crime has broadened out from self-contained hours on US cablenets to become a juggernaut mainstream genre encompassing big-budget serialised streamer projects and dramas. Clive Whittingham assesses the market.


As the post-writers-strike boom in heavily constructed reality series subsided in the US, and drama came roaring back bigger and better than ever, the unscripted industry was in need of a boost – and true crime programming has certainly been that.


Initially, it stood out as a way to resist the oft-talked-about decline in US cable. While audiences, subscriptions and ad revenues declined amid increased competition and cord-cutting, channels like Discovery-owned ID and A+E Networks’ Crime + Investigation (C+I) were able to retain and even increase their viewership.


This prompted other cablenets that had previously focused on different kinds of factual or their own scripted – such as Reelz and Oxygen – to move into the genre, increasing the number of buyers and the quantity of content on the market.