What do CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan have to do with “Black Hawk Down” or “Gladiator”? Nothing – until June 23. That’s when the Time Warner cable-news outlet will launch a new series from popular Hollywood producer/director Ridley Scott.
The eight-episode “Crimes of the Century” will each week focus on a single news event that was not only shocking at the time it took place but also had far-reaching repurcussions in week and months that followed.
The debut will spotlight the infamous 2001 sniper attacks in and around Washington, D.C. Future episodes will explore the killing of John Lennon; the Andrea Yates murders; the assassination attempton Preisdent Reagan; the Oklahoma City bombing; the saga of Amanda Knox; the siege of Waco; and the Unabomber.
“Crimes” is the latest non-fiction series to surface under the aegis of CNN President Jeff Zucker, who took oversight of the cable-news outlet earlier this year. Zucker has vowed to use compelling non-fiction skeins not unlike what a viewer might sample on cablers such as Discovery or Nat Geo to augment the network’s newsgathering programming. In recent weeks, CNN has announced the acquisition of a documentary on Richard Nixon, for example, and announced the expected launch of a docu-series about Chicago exec produced by Robert Redford for 2014.
CNN said each episode in the Ridley Scott series will be based on both archival and never-before-seen footage, as well as exclusive interviews with witnesses, victims, and investigators of the crimes. Scott, who is known for helming films such as “Alien,” “Blade Runner” and “Thelma & Louise,” is expected to use his “signature visual style” in the programs, CNN said in a statement Monday.
“Crimes of the Century” will air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET, and will rerun the same night at midnight and 3 a.m. as well as several other times on subsequent weekends. “Inside Man,” a docuseries hosted by filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, will follow “Crimes of the Century” at 10 p.m. ET, and also debuts June 23.