When VideoAge approached veteran TV executive Gary Lico to provide some industry insight he considered commenting on the state of the industry, the greatest challenges it faces these days, who is buying what, or what works and what doesn’t. Then he changed his mind and used this opportunity to, in his words, “shamelessly pitch a television program. I make no apologies. I’ve been licensing programming most of my adult years (and maybe some not-so-adult years, too!). It’s what I do.”
So here goes: “Through my company, GARYLICO.TV, I’m launching a worldwide commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Forensic Files (aka Medical Detectives). The series premiered in 1996, and is now in its record-setting 16th season. Fourteen newly produced episodes are launching this month.”
Lico’s company has produced a tribute special for the series, which will air globally on such major telecasters as RTL Germany, CBS Reality U.K., SBS Belgium, Atresmedia Spain, E.TV South Africa and more. The special is built around a worldwide survey of viewers’ favorite and most memorable episodes and includes never-before-seen-footage, behind-the-scenes of recreations, and exclusive interviews with the production team, including series creator Paul Dowling of Medstar Television.
Lico, who’s also the executive producer of the special, further commented: “I’ve been with the series from the start. I’ve seen it grow from a great idea to the longest-running, most successful true crime series in the history of television. And one that is still in production. I love it so much, I produced the special, honoring the achievements of the show, the science we’ve come to understand, and the impact of the series on crime-solving and on television itself.”
Lico added: “It was great to get my hands into production again. Together with producer Olivia Stomski, we crafted a tribute that will appeal to rabid fans and new viewers alike.”
The production began with a global 25-question survey of viewers, via the show’s Facebook page in the U.S., the FORENSICFILESNOW.COM blog and the home pages of Lico’s international clients. The results were viewer favorites in categories such as Scariest Criminal, Most Memorable Exoneration, Best Reenactment, Favorite Quote, and of course, Most Memorable Episode.
From there, clips of almost 40 episodes were catalogued. “It was amazing how viewers agreed on most of the answers. From Austin to Australia and all points in between, viewers were excited to participate in the creation of the tribute,” he said. “By the way,” he added, “the Scariest Criminals, the Sifrits, appeared in the episode, Dirty Little Secret. The Most Memorable Exoneration was Ray Krone in Once Bitten. Best Reenactment was The List Murders.” And what about the Most Memorable? “Well, ya gotta watch the tribute to find out,” said Lico.
The special is receiving great reactions. One channel executive who doesn’t want to be named, said, “I really like the exploration of the reconstructions and especially Paul Dowling always telling his family about each case to see if it was interesting. [It’s] a great mix of personal and production reflection.”
Forensic Files has 425 produced episodes and has already been renewed for 2022. Medstar Television produced the first 14 seasons, with HLN producing the latest three.
GaryLico.TV is the exclusive worldwide distributor of Forensic Files, handling all distribution, sales, and marketing for the series. The company is run by Lico, a 45-plus year veteran of programming, research, scheduling, sales, marketing, production and talent. In addition to Forensic Files, and through his earlier company, CABLEready, he has brought a number of hits to television, including: Inside The Actors Studio, Monster Quest, Intersections, House of Babies, 7 Days Left, Secret Lives of Women, and dozens more. Two months a year, Lico dons the red suit and is a professional Santa Claus in North Carolina.