London’s Woodcut Media has begun work on a six-part true crime series for Channel 4 called Surviving a Serial Killer, the first episode of which will hit Feb. 28 in the UK on free-to-air channel More4.
The series deep-dives into the lives of people who have survived encounters with serial killers, including Rhonda Stapley (who survived contact with Ted Bundy), Cindy Brown (whose husband Joe killed 10) and Mo Lea (survivor of Peter Sutcliffe, aka the Yorkshire Ripper). Surviving will follow the history from the initial encounter to present day, outlining the impact the events have had on their victims –- stories not often heard in media.
Channel 4 acquisitions manager Polly Scates noted in a statement: “We were immediately drawn to this unique twist on a true crime format that highlights the important voices of those who came into contact with some of the most terrifying people in history.”
Matt Blyth, co-founder of Woodcut Media, added: “True crime about serial killers tends to focus on the perpetrators. However, this time we have switched the usual narrative to give a voice to those individuals who narrowly escaped death instead. Each episode provides viewers with a moving and sometimes chilling account of their traumatic experiences, and we hope the contributions they made to the series will provide some kind of catharsis as well.”
In other C4 news, the UK pubcaster has also commissioned a 6 x 60-minute quiz series, Quizness, from Red Arrow-owned CPL Productions.
The gameplay sees contestant put their general knowledge to the test to win £25,000 through a series of comical challenges, including ‘Subbly Jubbly,’ in which contestants must substitute nonsense words into the correct answers, and other similar twists on the tried and true quiz format.
Quizness was commissioned by Phil Harris, C4′s head of entertainment and events, with commissioning editors Steven Handley and Genna Gibson. The format was created by Dan Maier for CPL. Executive producers are Danielle Lux, Murray Boland, Dan Maier and David Taylor. Red Arrow Studios International will distribute the format rights internationally.
“Quizness really stood out when we were piloting ideas,” said Harris in a statement. “It’s such a strong new format that’s funny, fast-paced and brilliantly play-alongable, I think families will have a lot of fun joining in and seeing who comes up with the silliest correct answers.”
(With files from Barry Walsh)