Discovery makes true crime move

The US Discovery Channel has ordered Killing Fields, its first true-crime series.

The show will be produced by ITV-owned prodcos Sirens Media, and launch on Discovery on January 5 in a 10pm slot.

Taking a creative cue from popular podcast Serial, which examined one crime in-depth, Killing Fields will follow law enforcement official’s attempts to track a killer in real time.

The case in question is the 1997 murder of Louisiana State University graduate student Eugenie Boisfontaine in Baton Rouge. The show will also look at whether the murder was part of a wider string of killings.

Specifically, it will follow detective Rodie Sanchez who was assigned to the case in 1997 and comes out of retirement and re-opens the case.

“You never forget your first murder or crime scene,” Rodie said. “I missed it and thought about [this case] every day.”

Discovery has the popular ID channel in its stable and it runs a slew of crime and true crime fare, but the Killing Fields commission is the first time such a show has been ordered for the core Discovery net.

The Serial podcast has had a clear impact on the schedules of TV services. Netflix has ordered Making a Murderer, while ID has launched its own true-crime podcast. Fox 21 Television Studios has optioned Serial rights for TV.

Most Recent