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Theme Festival - True Crime & Investigation


Theme Festival - True Crime & Investigation

Company overview

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

Why true crime pays


The true crime genre is booming and extends across documentary and drama, series and one-offs, and can now be found on streamers, cable and FTA channels. But what is driving demand and what shows are coming down the pipeline?


A decade ago, watching true crime TV felt like a guilty pleasure – similar to catching up on a soap omnibus at the weekend instead of going for a bike ride. But the success of Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer (2015) changed perceptions of the genre almost overnight.


Today, true crime scripted and non-scripted shows have infiltrated every corner of the TV ecosystem, from high-volume returnable franchises on pay TV to schedule tentpoles on free TV and streaming platforms. Already in 2021, true crime has delivered water-cooler shows such as BBC drama The Serpent and Netflix doc The Night Stalker.


Julie Meldal-Johnsen, exec VP of global content at ITV Studios, says her company has built up a “broad and deep range of true crime series” that is generating high ratings across all platforms and audience demographics.