×

On the Case With Paula Zahn

Turns out Dostoevsky was really on to something with "Crime and Punishment."

With:
Host: Paula Zahn.

Turns out Dostoevsky was really on to something with “Crime and Punishment.” Viewers still can’t get enough, even with 24-hour news networks and an endless number of shows depicting every step of the criminal and legal process. Into this glut steps news vet Paula Zahn, with a personal approach to the genre that gets her subjects to open up. Compared with other Investigation Discovery shows such as “Wicked Attraction” (romances gone wrong) and “Most Evil” (think Manson, Dahmer), Zahn brings a lighter, more sisterly, Oprah-like style to the proceedings.

From a collage of family photos to its startlingly frank interviews with close friends and relatives, “On the Case” goes inside each story. Premiere episode (13 have been ordered) features a typically salacious tale: A teenage girl is befriended by an attractive young teacher. She’s later found strangled in the woods. He’s seen line dancing at a local bar a short time after.

The events are recounted through interviews and actual police video, including the interrogation and confession, as well as a graphic body-recovery search. Despite the proliferation of crime shows, the footage is still shocking. It also provides the show with its most surprising twist.

The influence of reality and entertainment-news is apparent, with shaky camera reenactments and scream-overs that detract from its otherwise professional manner. Show moves at a nice pace, divulging intriguing tidbits without endless teasers and the usual repetition (read, “Dateline”) that pads other such shows.

Unsettlingly, the mother of the alleged criminal in this particular case talks without a shred of irony or emotion about what a great son she has, despite all evidence to the contrary. She also keeps primping her hair.

On the Case With Paula Zahn

Investigation Discovery, Sun. Oct. 18, 10 p.m.

Production: Produced by Scott Sternberg Prods. and Weinberger Media. Executive producers, Sternberg, Scott Weinberger, Paula Zahn, Diana Sperrazza; co-executive producer, Larry Israel; producers, Judy Artime, Kevin Huffman, Stephen Narisi, Emily Smolar.

Crew: Camera, Sal Manguarnera Jr; managing editor, Daniel Bregman; editors, Alan Bivona, Jody Leggio, Dan Katz, Mike Sheehan; music, Trey Gunn. Running time: 60 MIN.

Cast: Host: Paula Zahn.

More TV

  • Max Wright Dead

    'Alf' Actor Max Wright Dies at 75

    Max Wright, best known for playing patriarch Willie Tanner on the sitcom “Alf,” died Wednesday. He was 75. Wright’s family confirmed his death to TMZ. The actor died in his home in Hermosa Beach, Calif., after years of battling cancer. Wright was diagnosed with Lymphona in 1995. Wright is most famous for his role as [...]

  • Greyson Chance -Gabby Barrett Alejandro Aranda

    Greyson Chance, 'Idol' Alums Gabby Barrett and Alejandro Aranda Sign Major Label Deals

    Two “American Idol” alumni — Gabby Barrett and Alejandro Aranda — as well as viral star Greyson Chance all announced new major label recording contracts this week. Barrett, who finished in third place of the first season of the rebooted ABC version of “Idol,” has joined the roster of Warner Music Nashville. The singer had [...]

  • amazon-studios

    YouTube Head of Scripted Jon Wax in Talks to Join Amazon Studios

    YouTube’s head of scripted programming, Jon Wax, is in talks to join Amazon Studios, according to an individual with knowledge of the matter. Wax is said to be in discussions for head of genre programming at Amazon, a position held by Sharon Tal Yguado until recently. Variety reported on her exit in early May. The [...]

  • ARE YOU THE ONE SEASON 8

    MTV's 'Are You The One?' Shifts to Sexually Fluid Contestants for New Season

    MTV’s dating reality show “Are You The One?” is addressing changing attitudes regarding sexuality and gender identity by featuring sexually fluid contestants on the show’s eighth season, which bows June 27. The shift from the show’s past focus on heterosexual relationships is part of the larger effort at MTV to be relevant to younger viewers [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Amazon Drops 'Carnival

    TV News Roundup: Amazon Drops 'Carnival Row' Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Amazon drops the first official trailer for “Carnival Row,” starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne. DATES August 1 will see the premiere of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop,” which follows divorced couple Christina Anstead and Tarek El Moussa as they figure out their relationship as co-parents and business partners. In the 18-episode season, the [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    What 'The Office' Shifting Platforms Means for Netflix (Column)

    The most important television show of this unusual moment may just be one whose last new episode aired in 2013. “The Office” was, in its first life in the U.S., a beloved workplace comedy (based on a British series) that ran for nine seasons on NBC. In its protracted afterlife, though, it was known to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content