Unscripted

A&E adds four non-fiction series to slate

In advance of its upfront presentation in New York City tonight (March 15), A&E has announced that it has greenlit four non-fiction series. The series will join a non-fiction slate that ...
March 14, 2018

In advance of its upfront presentation in New York City tonight (March 15), A&E has announced that it has greenlit four non-fiction series.

The series will join a non-fiction slate that has driven successful ratings performances as of late. The network says that through Feburary, it has experienced 12 consecutive months of growth among total viewers, and is on track for 12 consecutive months of growth through March in the adults 25-54 demo.

New series include Many Sides of Jane (w/t, 6 x 60 minutes) from Renegade 83. The series follows Jane, a 28-year-old woman from Boise, Idaho who has Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.), or multiple personality disorder. The show documents her “journey to understand what caused the D.I.D. as well as to figure out how she can best co-exist with her many ‘parts,’ as she calls them,” while she contends with life as a full-time, single mother of two , and striving to complete her Ph.D in biology.

Lost for Life (w/t, 8 x 60 minutes), produced by IPC, examines criminal cases in which juvenile offenders sentenced to mandatory life sentences without parole, through a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that deemed such sentences as unconstitutional, now have a chance to plead their cases. Through access to the criminals, victims, lawyers and courts, viewers will learn about the original crime and also get an glimpse into the current legal battles as they unfold.

Another crime-focused project, The Accused (w/t, 8 x 60 minutes), comes from Brinkworth Films. The series follows the stories of individuals accused of crimes they believe they did not commit, with the cases explored from the defendants’ point of view. Viewers will see cases unfold from the defendants’ first meetings with their lawyers, to the point where the verdicts are delivered.

The fourth series greenlit by the net is a U.S. adaptation of Optomen format Employable Me, which will follow individuals who live with neurological conditions or disabilities as they look for jobs that fit with their unique abilities and that will grant them a new independence in their lives. Upon its debut in the UK in 2016, the series performed strongly for BBC 2 and received critical acclaim there, and in Canada, where a local adaptation airs on TVO. The U.S. version will also be produced by Optomen.

The four series will join a non-fiction slate that has driven successful ratings performances as of late. The network says that through February, it has experienced 12 consecutive months of growth among total viewers, and is on track for 12 consecutive months of growth through March in the adults 25-54 demo. A&E has also been in the top 10 cable networks among 25-54 for four straight months.

“A&E has been leading the reality revolution, doubling down on our slate of brave non-fiction storytelling, moving away from scripted drama and refocusing our programming and development on what we do best,” said A&E EVP and head of programming Elaine Frontain Bryant. “A&E continues to invest in provocative, high-quality content that sparks meaningful conversation and resonates with our loyal audience.”

The network also announced that it would be renewing its Emmy-winning Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath for a third season.

About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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