31 JUL 2023

A+E Networks EMEA launches new true crime short-form series

The Digital Originals will consist of short-form, mid-form, and podcast true crime content set to be aired on the Crime+Investigation digital platforms and the streaming service Crime+Investigation Play.

31 JUL 2023

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A+E Networks EMEA has announced plans to commission a raft of shorter-form, true crime content from UK production companies. These Digital Originals will comprise short-form, mid-form, and podcast true crime content to be aired on the Crime+Investigation digital platforms and the streaming service Crime+Investigation Play. “Commissioning shorter form content affords us an exciting new opportunity to “test-and-learn” in the true crime genre using fresh, exciting talent and formats for Crime+Investigation and Crime+Investigation Play," Dan Korn, VP of Programming at A+E Networks EMEA, said. "It also allows us to work with some of the most talented, risk-taking, and dynamic creative teams currently working in media”.

All ten episodes of "Cut to The Crime" launch on the 31st of July as a season stack on Crime+Investigation Play, which is available directly to consumers on crimeandinvestigationplay.co.uk and Amazon and Apple TV. The series will also be released weekly on Crime+Investigation’s YouTube channel and available on demand on Sky, Virgin, and all major TV platforms.Produced by Phoenix Television the 10-part mid–form series transforms the hairdresser’s chair into a true crime confessional, from which true crime survivors and reformed perpetrators confide their deepest, darkest secrets to the master hairdresser, James Busby.  

Other recent test-bed commissions include "Model Murders" from Content Kings. The series follows YouTube sensation, Meggie Foster, as she collaborates with an expert model maker to pursue her fascination for true crime through scale models of notorious crime scenes. Another recent commission is "Crime Swipe," from ITN Productions, in which true crime aficionados, Satema Tarawally and Jonny Nelson, explore the real stories behind the bizarre, stranger-than-fiction crimes from the UK. 

The company has also been commissioning series-based podcasts like "Murdertown," which after its third run has achieved a total of two million listens, and Making a Monster: The Tapes, which hit the top spot on the Apple Podcasts’ true crime charts. This is alongside internally produced pilots, including Unwanted Attention featuring author and Morbidology podcaster Emily G Thompson and Inside Status with criminologist and star of Crime+Investigation’s Murder Detective,Graham Hill. “Leveraging the power of mid-form content will help us to tap into an audience influenced by social media while enabling us to look at fresh, new talent like TikTok and podcast creators who tell true crime stories in new and innovative ways,'" Sam Pearson, Head of Digital Media at A+E Networks EMEA, said.

Digital Originals is the latest complement to Crime+Investigation’s long-form commissioning strategy, which has recently seen the introduction of single true crime narratives over two or three episodes, told by those most closely associated with the case, such as "The Bubble" and "Squeak Murder: The Killing of David Jackson" from Transistor Films, as well as new multi-ep, talent-led thematic series, on subjects of contemporary relevance, such as "Cops Who Kill with Will Mellor," from ITN Productions. ‘’Both Bubble and Squeak Murder and Cops Who Kill have shown us the importance of covering cases and crimes which have permeated the public consciousness in a very visceral, fundamental way and which need to be covered at length and in-depth," Korn added. "Shorter form content allows us to try to address a broader, more diverse range of crimes, in different tones and styles”.

With additional support from A+E Networks EMEA’s award-winning creative team, the Digital Originals will offer an opportunity to test innovative true crime formats and showcase new storytelling techniques and talent in front of and behind the camera. The new content will add onto the success of the company's true crime streaming service, Crime+Investigation Play, in September 2022.  “Creating innovative, distinctive, and returnable series is at the heart of what we do," Miles Jarvis and Jaimi West, Founding Partners of Phoenix Television, said. "Collaborating with A+E Networks EMEA and James Busby to collide our passion for crime storytelling with hairdressing has been a hugely rewarding experience.”