Tegna said it reached a multiyear deal to co-produce true crime and investigative programming with Dan Abrams’s Law&Crime Productions and Cineflix Rights making use of content from the libraries of Tegna’s television stations.
The companies plan to start off by producing 50 hour-long episodes, starting with a new series, Cult Justice.
A deal has been made to air the series on a major U.S. network Tegna declined to identify. The show might also run on Tegna’s True Crime Network or Law&Crime Network at a later date.
“The partnership with Law&Crime and Cineflix Rights solidifies Tegna’s position as a player in original true crime programming,” said Brian Weiss, VP, entertainment programming and multicast networks at Tegna. “Along with the success of True Crime Network, the growth of Vault Studios and the treasure trove of stories in our expansive content library, this deal reinforces our role as a future leader in the unscripted entertainment content space.”
The companies have already worked together on two seasons of Killer Cases. They now plan to create a podcast of the series, which airs on A&E and True Crime Networks.
“Law&Crime’s team of experienced legal and crime producers is excited to take a deep dive into Tegna’s extensive and unique library of true crime and investigative footage,” said Rachel Stockman, president of Law&Crime Productions. “We are thrilled to partner with Tegna and Cineflix Rights in this first-of-its-kind deal that gives us access to thousands of impactful stories in markets all around America.”
Cult Justice will start off with a first season of 10 episodes. It will look at the power of cults and each episode will look at how law enforcement sought justice against different cult leaders. Episodes are likely to focus on cults that have been in the headlines recently, such as the NXIVM sex cult and The Family, the present-day version of the Children of God cult.
Journalists Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz will be executive producers and showrunners for the first 50 true crime episodes, including the Cult Justice series. Abrams, Stockman, John Ford, head of programming for Tegna’s Quest and True Crime Network, and Felicia Litovitz, VP, acquisitions, North America, for Cineflix Rights, will also serve as executive producers on the shows.
Cineflix Rights will act as the exclusive global distributor for the new series produced by Law&Crime Productions.
“We are delighted to be able to build on our strong global partnership established with Tegna and Law&Crime over two seasons of the global hit series Killer Cases and look forward to bringing their exciting new crime and investigative content to our global buyers,” said Richard Life, head of acquisitions at Cineflix Rights.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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