Maybe it’s true that crime doesn’t pay, but it definitely seems like true crime does pay, with the success of docu-series and podcasts like Making a Murderer, The Keepers and Serial. CBS is hoping to cash in on that wave of budding homicide detectives with a pilot order for a remake of the BBC Two miniseries Murder, from executive producer Dan Lin (It, The LEGO Movie).
But here’s the interesting twist: though each episode of the potential series will be shot like a true-crime documentary, none of the stories or characters are real.
Based on the popular series that first premiered in the U.K. in 2012 (with three follow-up installments released in 2016), each episode serves as a standalone story and examines events leading to and immediately after a murder has taken place. Viewers will be taken inside the emotional journey of an investigation, allowing them to discern the truth and judge the suspects’ guilt or innocence for themselves in the context of the entire investigation and trial.
Lin will executive produce the series under his Lin Pictures banner with Amanda Green, who will also write the script for the pilot. Green recently worked with executive producer Lin as a writer on Fox’s Lethal Weapon television series. Lindsey Liberatore will co-executive produce, with Warner Bros. Television producing in association with Lin Pictures.
True crime docu-series have proven incredibly popular in recent years, with the Netflix 10-episode series Making a Murderer examining the convictions of Wisconsin murderers Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey (who had his confession thrown out and was recently granted a new trial). The streaming service’s The Keepers explores the unsolved murder of Baltimore nun Sister Cathy Cesnik in 1969.
But many look to the podcast Serial as the starting point for this new wave of interest in true crime. Calling into question the case against Adnan Masud Syed (convicted in 2000 of murdering his ex-girlfriend in Maryland), the podcast would be instrumental in getting Syed’s conviction vacated and in the judge granting him a new trial.