NBCUniversal-owned Oxygen Media is expanding and refocusing its programming to become a crime destination network for women.
Oxygen’s “Crime Time” weekend block has recently grown to four days a week (Friday-Monday), and the channel will continue to up its programming starting with three new series: Three Days to Live will premiere Sunday, March 5; while Cold Justice, from executive producer Dick Wolf, and The Jury Speak will roll out in the third-quarter of 2017.
“The recent expansion of our ‘Crime Time’ weekend block has enjoyed double-digit gains and has really resonated with our female audience,” said Frances Berwick (pictured), president, Lifestyle Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, in a statement.
Oxygen is looking to expand its demographic to reach the 18 to 54 female audience with its rebranding as a crime network, an Oxygen representative told realscreen.
Since its inception, the Crime Time block is up 22% with women aged 25-54 and up 42% in total viewers (2016 vs. 4Q 2015), according to data supplied by Oxygen. The demand for true crime content among women 25-54 is up 10% in the past two years.
The popularity of true crime made for a lively discussion at the recent Realscreen Summit in Washington, D.C. in January, with the likes of Netflix’s Making a Murderer and HBO’s The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst credited for breathing new life into the genre. Networks executives speaking at the event noted that contemporary storytelling techniques that focus on authenticity have helped to fuel a renewed appetite for crime series.