Warner Bros. Discovery UK has announced the commission of two new true-crime series and a new documentary.
Produced by Leeds-based prodco Candour, the standalone documentary special Michael Sams: Kidnapper Killer (1 x 60 min., pictured) revolves around never-before-heard audio of the murderer once dubbed “The Other Yorkshire Ripper.” Secretly recorded in prison, after Sams was convicted of murdering 18-year-old Julie Dart and kidnapping estate agent Stephanie Slater, the two hours of audio includes instances in which Sams reveals previously unheard details of his crimes. The doc will premiere on Discovery+ in the UK on July 30.
The Swindlers is a 6 x 60-minute docuseries produced by Crackit Productions that explores the stories of serial swindlers who charmed and manipulated their way into the lives (and wallets) of their victims. Switching between the perspectives of the scammers and their victims, the series will explore such high-profile cases as that of a former pro soccer player who began conning the women he dated in order to maintain his high-rolling lifestyle. The Swindlers will premiere on Quest Red in early 2023.
Also set to premiere early next year is Dead Fake (5 x 60 min.) from Man Alive Entertainment, which examines fraudsters who faked their own deaths. Boasting exceptional access, the docuseries will take a hard look at both the people who attempted this extreme exit strategy and the consequences of these deceptions, via interviews with the families who were left behind, partners who were unwittingly implicated in the “deaths,” and, in some cases, the hoaxers themselves. The series is slated to debut on Discovery+ in early 2023.
All three productions were ordered for Discovery+ by Clare Laycock, SVP, planning & insights and head of entertainment for Warner Bros. Discovery UK, and commissioned by Charlotte Reid. The executive producers for Warner Bros. Discovery are Deirdre Dowling, Romy Page and Matt Reid.
“True crime continues to be one of our most popular genres, both through Discovery+ and via our linear channels — accounting for almost half of our Quest Red ratings — so we are delighted to commission the new series,” Laycock said in a release.
Photo: Harry Lock/Candour Productions