HLN continues to invest big in original taped programming

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HLN, which recently shook up its dayside news lineup, has announced plans for a slate of crime and investigation original series.

  • All told, the network will add seven new series to its five returning series.
  • “HLN continues to be a major destination for successful, quality, mystery and investigation programming. As the longtime exclusive cable network for the mega popular ‘Forensic Files,’ we recently built on that franchise to introduce original series that have also resonated with our viewers. This year we’ve more than doubled our commitment to long-form programming which will complement HLN’s live news shows during the day,” said Ken Jautz, an executive vice president at CNN, in a statement.
  • HLN’s long-form programming is comprised of internally produced and commissioned multi-part series.
  • The CNN owned network, originally known as CNN 2 and then CNN Headline News, recently canceled “Across America” with Carol Costello, “Michaela” with Michaela Pereira and “Primetime Justice” with Asleigh Banfield.
  • At the same time, the network expanded its strong “Morning Express” to six hours — from 6 a.m. to noon. eastern.
  • On the Story” fills three hours from noon to 3 p.m.
  • Taped programming starts at 3 p.m.
  • Right now, much of the rest of the network’s day is filled with “Forensic Files” marathons.
  • With the programming changes, HLN no longer produces regularly programming from CNN’s Los Angeles Studios, which were updated in April 2017, when Costello and Pereira moved to L.A.
  • Banfield, who along with Costello and Pereira, all level the network after their shows were canceled.
  • As of now, all CNN dayside programming is produced from Atlanta.

Following are descriptions for five of the new HLN Original Series airing in 2019:

  • Unmasking a Killer” is expanding to introduced “Closing in on The Golden State Killer: Parts 1 & 2” (premieres Sunday, Feb. 17 and Monday, Feb. 18, both at 9 p.m. eastern and pacific). The two parter will cover the fascinating events leading to the capture of the suspected Golden State Killer and premiere in a two-night event. Unmasking a Killer is executive produced by Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina for Joke Productions.
  • “Vengeance: Killer Lovers” premieres Sunday, March 10 at 8 p.m. This 10-episode series covers stories of revenge and betrayal carried out by the people seemingly most trusted by each of the victims–their lovers. These true-life mysteries will focus on the criminal’s motive, and explore how the victim and lover met, the deepening relationship, the perceived betrayal and the obsession that led to the deadly act. Sky/Jupiter is the production company.
  • “Very Scary People” will debut Sunday, March 17 at 9 p.m. Actor, singer, producer Donnie Wahlberg hosts this six-episode HLN series that chronicles the twisted lives of some of the most frightening, diabolical characters in recent history. The stories trace the heinous, criminal acts of these elusive miscreants and the eventual road to justice. Episodes include Charles Manson, Aileen Wuornos, the Zodiac Killer, the NorCal Serial Rapist, the Reverend Jim Jones and John Wayne Gacy. Nancy Duffy, Vice President of Program Development for CNN is executive producer of the series.
  • “An American Mystery” (working title) hasn’t had its debut date set yet, but will be a new investigative documentary series that explores a harrowing and unique missing persons case that is currently evolving into a much larger story of unsolved murder, and allegations of cover up and corruption in Oklahoma. Crime author and investigator Jax Miller and former police investigator Sarah Cailean have been intrepidly researching the confounding case of Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman, two teenagers who disappeared in December 1999, after the Freeman family trailer was burned to the ground. The series delves into the various strange theories and reveals a truth that proves even more incredible. Stephen David Entertainment is the production company.
  • “Dead Wives Club,” which doesn’t have a debut date set, evolved around the fact that when a wife is murdered, the primary suspect is often her husband. However, the killer is sometimes proven to be an intruder, a stranger, a secret lover or even the woman’s own child. Dead Wives Club profiles such murders that include the case of Charles Stuart, a husband from Boston who alleged that an African American assailant murdered his wife and unborn child. Nancy Duffy, vice president of program development for CNN is executive producer of the series.
  • “Vengeance: Killer Neighbors” also doesn’t have a premiere date yet. As each of the 10 episodes of this true crime series unfolds, viewers will witness a depiction of a murder committed by the vindictive neighbor of an unsuspecting victim. They’ll follow the twists and turns of the investigation, through the arrest and final verdict, which ultimately leads to justice. Sky/Jupiter is the production company.