Longtime viewers of NBCUniversal’s Oxygen have been treated to a new direction in programming in recent months as a steady stream of true crime content begins to pour from the cable network’s tap.
The influx of darker content – programming surrounding kidnappings, assaults, rapes and murders – comes as the former female-focused lifestyle channel marked its intention to rebrand in February to a crime destination network for women, with four programs rolling out shortly thereafter to kick off the slate: Three Days to Live, which premiered March 5; Cold Justice, which moved to Oxygen from TNT on July 22; The Jury Speaks, which also aired July 22; and The Disappearance of: Natalee Holloway (pictured, above), launching Saturday (Aug. 19) at at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
High-end true-crime series such as Netflix’s Making a Murderer and This American Life podcast Serial played a significant part in Oxygen’s decision to remake itself as the destination for crime series. The rebrand has been gradual, but it’s now kicking in in earnest, with a new logo making its way to air, and the resurrection of Dick Wolf’s Cold Justice series, which debuts July 22, among other crime show launches.
Rod Aissa, Oxygen executive VP of original programming and development, said the wildly popular crime series on Netflix and podcasts such as Serial revealed a younger version of the true-crime fan that Oxygen executives found intriguing. He speaks of a new wave of women consuming those pop-culture staples.
“We’re looking to engage with younger women,” he said, “this next generation of crime viewer.”
Oxygen was launched in 2000 by Geraldine Laybourne, Oprah Winfrey and
Now, the last remaining sliver of Oxygen’s former programming schedule is “Snapped,” which has been wearing in its “re-cre” formula over 20 seasons, dramatically recreating murders. Some of the show’s successes may have something to do with its unexpected subject material: “Snapped” is all about women killers, or suspected killers, spinning from them salacious tales of adultery, greed, fear and revenge when statistics show that women are overwhelmingly victims of domestic violence, not its perpetrators. It’s been a longtime hit for the network, and it’s not going anywhere, at least as long as women continue harming their husbands, boyfriends, abusers that share one or neither of those labels, and, sometimes, children.
American Horror Story: Roanoke alum André Holland is no scaredy-cat.
The actor has nabbed the lead role in another fright-filled show: Hulu’s upcoming psychological horror drama series Castle Rock, from executive producer J.J. Abrams and author Stephen King, our sister site Deadline reports.
Set in King’s multiverse, the show weaves together an epic saga of darkness and light, played out in the woodland town of Castle Rock, Maine, which is often featured in King’s works. Holland will play Henry, a death-row attorney with a unique and complicated history in the hamlet.
Holland’s other TV credits include The Knick, 1600 Penn and Friends With Benefits. He most recently co-starred in the Oscar-winning film Moonlight.
Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…
* Netflix’s ten-part psychological thriller Gypsy, starring Naomi Watts as a therapist who develops intimate and illicit relationships with the people in her patients’ lives,
The NBCUniversal cable channel on Thursday unveiled its first upfront slate for its upcoming programming shift, which includes new projects from Law Order creator Dick Wolf, longtime cable news star Nancy Grace and Law Order: SVU star Ice-T, among others.
Overall, the network unveiled eight series, including Wolf’s Criminal Confessions, which goes inside actual police interrogation rooms and dissects what happens to yield a confession. The docuseries joins the revival of Cold Justice, which also hails from Wolf Reality and was ordered to series in February when Oxygen made their rebranding official.
Oxygen is also teaming with one of Wolf’s longtime stars, Law and Order: SVU‘s Ice-T, for the series Ice Cold Murders (working title), which he will host and executive produce.
Oxygen’s other notable collaborators include Buzzfeed Motion Pictures. The network has landed the site’s
The series delves into the psychological showdown that takes place inside actual police interrogation rooms and dissects what happens to yield a confession.
The show is co-produced by Wolf’s Wolf Reality and Shed Media, with Wolf, Tom Thayer, Pam Healey, John Hesling and Adam Kassen serving as executive producers.
Wolf plays a key role in Oxygen Media’s upcoming transformation into a crime-themed cable network this summer when it will be officially rebranded as a crime destination network for women with an all-crime programming slate.