Zodiak psyched about Discovery

TV skein taps into ESP

Discovery Channel is turning to less conventional crime-solving techniques in a new series from Scandi format distributor Zodiak Television World that attempts to solve cold cases with the help of psychic sleuths.

Paranormal reality series “Sensing Murder” will air on Discovery in November as part of a slate of forensics programming.

Format follows psychics as they work with police to investigate unsolved murder cases.

“We’ve been focusing a lot of our attention on breaking through in the U.S. and U.K. markets, so this is proof that those are paying off,” said Heather Stevenson, Zodiak Television World’s recently appointed president.

Brokered by William Morris, deal makes Copenhagen-based Zodiak one of the few Nordic TV companies to make commercial inroads into the U.S., although it won’t actually produce the show itself.

Zodiac is working with Granada America (“Nanny 911,” “Hell’s Kitchen”), which is in production on the seven-part series.

The show is already a ratings hit on Australia’s Network Ten and New Zealand’s TV2, where one episode about a brutal 1970s murder generated floods of calls to the police after one of the psychics came up with an identikit picture of the killer.

“They focus on local stories, and that’s what really connected with the audience,” she said.

The format rights have been licensed to 11 territories to date, and the Australian and New Zealand episodes have been sold to U.K. cable channel Living TV, which also has an option to produce a local version of the show.

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