Oxygen to Rebrand as A True Crime Channel

Female-targeted network Oxygen this summer will rebrand itself within the popular true crime genre, network officials said.

The network will jettison its reality and lifestyles shows – including its long-running series Bad Girls Club – once those shows' current and new seasons run their course and will focus exclusively on content in the true crime genre. As part of its rebrand, the network will launch several new series, including a revival of former TNT unscripted series Cold Justice. The Dick Wolf-produced series will debut on the network in third quarter 2017.

“The recent expansion of our ‘Crime Time’ weekend block has enjoyed double-digit gains and has really resonated with our female audience,” Frances Berwick, president of lifestyle networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, said in a release. “Oxygen has always played in this space with the highly successful original series Snapped, one of the longest running crime series on television now approaching its 20th season. With a lot of high quality projects in development, we believe our current fans, as well as all arm chair detectives, have good reason to be excited.”

Oxygen has had success with its “Crime Time” weekend block of true crime series. Since launching in 2016, the block has posted a 22% increase in women viewers 25-54 and a 42% increase in total viewers compared to fourth quarter 2015 numbers, according to Oxygen. In October the network expanded the block to include Fridays and Mondays. 

Other new Oxygen shows include Three Days to Live (premiering March 5), which follows the first three days after an abduction, and The Jury Speaks (debuting third quarter 2017), which looks at famous true crime cases decided by a jury.  

Oxygen will join ID (Investigation Discovery), A&E and Reelz, among others, in mining the true crime genre, which has generated several high profile shows such as Netflix's Making Of A Murderer and FX's Emmy-winning miniseries People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.