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Rare TV promotes new head of UK development and commissions first true crime series

The independent documentary, factual and formats producer, Rare TV, is wading into the true-crime series arena with its first UK commission, as ordered by 5STAR. Under the working title Body of Evidence, ...
May 6, 2021

The independent documentary, factual and formats producer, Rare TV, is wading into the true-crime series arena with its first UK commission, as ordered by 5STAR.

Under the working title Body of Evidence, Rare TV is producing a 6 x 60 returnable series examining British murder cold cases that were later cracked by determined detectives.

The series will use innovative timeline graphics to highlight key events in each murder investigation. Police interrogation footage and crime scene photos will also serve as a backdrop. The program will be interspersed with detective, family member and crime journalist testimony as each episode reveals the key piece of evidence that cracked the case.

Ordered by Denise Seneviratne, Channel 5′s commissioning editor for factual and factual entertainment, the series will be represented internationally by BossaNova Media, Paul Heaney‘s new distribution and development hub. Rory Wheeler, Rare TV’s Creative Director, UK, will serve as executive producer, while series producer will be Guy Templeton (Murder at My DoorOne Night With My Ex).

“Rare TV is expanding its factual output to include true crime,” he said. “Body of Evidence is a bold re-imagining of the genre and one in which we take great pride.”

In additional Rare TV news, 10-year veteran Susannah Zeff has been promoted to head of UK development.

Zeff was responsible for creating, developing and pitching such successes for the producer like Chitty Flies Again for Channel 4, The Nile: Egypt’s Great River with Bettany Hughes for Channel 5 and Contagion: The BBC Four Pandemic for BBC Four.

“The strength of her ideas is breathtaking. With Susannah leading our creative direction, our future growth feels more assured,” Rare TV CEO Alexander Gardiner said.

Established in 2013, Rare TV has enjoyed a busy 2021, delivering Oxford Street 24/7 to Channel 5, the ninth season of The Sheriffs Are Coming to BBC One and Tagged: Women on Tag for BBC iPlayer.

They’ve also announced a new series, Hornby: A Model World, for UKTV’s Yesterday channel and have received an order from Discovery Science for Ancient Unexplained Files, which uses cutting-edge forensic technologies to solve mysteries from 70,000 years of human existence, that will premiere globally later this year.

Rare TV produces popular factual and factual-entertainment programming for UK, Irish and US broadcasters, as well as online platforms.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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