This week, we look at unscripted series and documentaries scheduled to debut on CNN, Oxygen, ABC and PBS’ long-running documentary strand ‘Independent Lens’.
Anchoring this week’s roundup is ABC’s two-hour documentary on the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton scandal.
Produced by ABC News, Truth and Lies: Monica marks the 20th anniversary of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment and provides an in-depth examination into the extramarital affair of the former president and White House intern Monica Lewinsky, as well as the hours of secretly recorded conversations between Lewinsky and her then-confidante, Linda Tripp. The film features rarely seen or heard evidence assembled by the special counsel, including photos, surveillance material and audio recordings. Also featured will be new interviews with Kenneth Starr, independent counsel during the Clinton presidency; and Lucianne Goldberg, a literary agent who advised Tripp to make the tapes.
Truth and Lies: Monica airs tonight (Jan. 10) at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The ABC Television Network.
Elsewhere, CNN is exploring decades of fashion history with its latest CNN Original Series, American Style.
The Vox Entertainment- and Doc Shop Productions-produced, four-part series will highlight the most iconic moments from fashion and pop culture in American history while examining how the nation’s changing style through the decades has mirrored the political, social, and economic climate of the time. The docuseries will offer archival footage and interviews with some of the world’s most-renowned fashion experts and cultural figures, including Tim Gunn, Donna Karan, Vanessa Williams, Isaac Mizrahi, John Varvatos, Diane von Furstenberg and André Leon Talley, among others. American Style debuts on Jan. 13 with back-to-back episodes at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET/PT, and will also stream live for subscribers on Jan. 13 and Jan. 20 via CNNgo.
American pubcaster PBS, meanwhile, will launch Rodents of Unusual Size (pictured), the feature-length doc from Quinn Costello, Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer across its ‘Independent Lens’ strand later this month.
The 71-minute project focuses on 20-pound swamp rats, known as nutria, invading coastal Louisiana and the bounty hunters and other Gulf residents attempting to defend their communities, culture, and livelihoods from the onslaught of the invasive species. Rodents of Unusual Size is narrated by Wendell Pierce with music by the Grammy Award-winning Lost Bayou Ramblers, and premieres on ‘Independent Lens’ on Jan. 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on PBS.
Finally, Oxygen, NBCUniversal’s true crime multi-platform network for women, will investigate the theory of “The Smiley Face Killers” in a forthcoming series from 44 Blue Productions and Blumhouse Television.
Slated to launch Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. ET/PT, Smiley Face Killers: The Hunt for Justice follows an active private investigation spearheaded by retired NYPD Detective Kevin Gannon and his team of investigators as they attempt to explore the circumstances behind a string of mysterious drownings of college-aged men across the Midwestern U.S. stretching over a decade. The fatalities, classified as accidental or “undetermined”, usually involved males who had been out at parties or bars prior to the drownings, and “smiley face” graffiti has been found near the areas where many of the bodies have been recovered.