VideoAge: What is A+E looking forward to at MIPCOM?
Liz Soriano (pictured above): First and foremost, we plan to use this MIPCOM to finally enjoy some facetime with our clients and colleagues from across the globe, whom we’ve all greatly missed over the past two years. And of course we’re looking forward to showing off our fall catalog, which reflects the ways we’ve adapted and grown as an IP company not only throughout the pandemic, but throughout these past 20 years since we first set the true crime standard with The First 48.
We’re excited to come to MIPCOM as “partners in crime” to our clients, and more than confident that we have what they need to bring in viewers and fill their scheduling needs across multiple platforms.
VA: Because of the extensive reach of the true crime genre, how do you plan to leverage this year’s MIPCOM when it comes to sales/promotion?
LS: True crime remains a uniquely global phenomenon. If we learned anything during lockdown — and we all most definitely did! — it’s that viewers are going to get this content however they can consume it. True crime consumption on both linear as well as non-linear, non-traditional platforms increased over the past 18 months, and we’re excited to come to MIPCOM not only with great new titles, but with fresh, exciting avenues like FAST channels and other emerging platforms that have recently become important white space opportunities.
VA: It would also be interesting to have an idea of how many programs are part of the True Crime package and list the most recent titles.
LS: Our latest catalog truly underscores why we remain global leaders in the crime and investigation genre. We have over 200 new hours in our fall catalog, including returning, ratings-proven hits like Cold Case Files and Court Cam that boast high episode counts and worldwide recognition, and new titles like Cellmate Secrets, Invisible Monsters, and Secrets of Playboy that offer brand new insights into world-famous figures and events.
Cellmate Secrets, hosted by the globally recognized Angie Harmon, gives an unfiltered perspective on some of the most shocking true crime stories of all time. New details and theories on infamous crimes are revealed as every sex scandal, betrayal, vicious act, and shocking secret is exposed by those closest to those who committed the crimes — their cellmates.
With Invisible Monsters, we explore what it was in particular about the culture of the ’70s and ’80s that allowed monsters like [Ted] Bundy, [Jeffrey] Dahmer, and [John Wayne] Gacy to effectively hide in plain sight for years and years. Featuring exclusive interviews with survivors, investigators, and family members who encountered them, it’s a truly unique series that answers vital questions we thought were missing from other scripted and unscripted projects that have covered these famous murderers over the years.
Secrets of Playboy is a docuseries that exposes hidden truths from the Playboy empire, as told through a modern, post #MeToo lens, four years after Hugh Hefner’s death. Some of the closest people to Hefner — including girlfriends, Playboy executives, his personal valet, and other members of his staff and inner circle — finally tell their full stories for the first time, and paint a vivid picture of how Hefner was able to create this glossy, prestigious brand that, at its worst, abused and manipulated many of the women who fell into its orbit.
We’ve also reignited some of our most beloved crime franchises from our storied 20-year history in the genre. Four of our all-time top-performing crime series with the highest volume of episodes, American Justice, City Confidential, Cold Case Files, and Panic 9-1-1, have returned with brand new episodes. Each title still boasts stories told in ways that are emotionally resonant and provocative, but now we’re telling them through the lens of today’s culture and sensitivities.
What continues to set our shows apart as the genre has grown, is that we recognize that crime stories need to center the impact the crime has had on its victims, on their families, and on the communities where they lived. We always keep in mind that the story we’re telling was the worst day of somebody’s life. We deliver on the heart, and do our best whenever possible to counterbalance the impact of these crimes with the pursuit of justice.