Sundance to Ascend ‘The Staircase’

Sundance Channel has secured the pay TV rights to The Staircase, an eight-part miniseries directed by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade (Murder on a Sunday Morning).

The Staircase, which follows the twists and turns of the investigation into the cause of death of Durham, N.C., resident and Nortel Networks Inc. executive Kathleen Peterson, will premiere April 4 under the network’s DOCday banner, with a pair of episodes airing back-to-back on Monday nights at 9 p.m..

The program examines the mystery surrounding the death of Kathleen Peterson, who was married to novelist Michael Peterson. On Dec. 9, 2001, Michael Peterson called 911 and told the operator that he had found his wife, unconscious but still breathing, at the bottom of the stairs. When the police arrived, they found Kathleen lying dead in a pool of blood and began treating the home as a crime scene. One week later, Peterson was charged with first-degree murder.

The Staircase is a lurid and true story that must be seen to be believed. It leaves the viewer absolutely on edge and is the kind of compelling television that Sundance Channel is eager to offer to its audience,” said executive vice president of programming and marketing Laura Michalchyshyn in a prepared statement.