Upfronts: Barbara Walters To Host Series for Investigation Discovery

Barbara Walters is coming out of retirement – again.

The veteran news correspondent’s seemingly momentous decision to step down from her post at ABC News, made last year, has always been something of a red herring. Yes, she no longer appears on “The View,” but she has appeared on ABC’s airwaves from time to time. And now, she is set to revisit her past work for ABC on Discovery CommunicationsInvestigation Discovery cable outlet.

In “American Scandal,” Walters will revisit compelling stories she has covered during her career, while sharing personal experiences and previously unseen footage. She will re-examine her work on famous crimes committed by people like Jean Harris, Jim Bakker, Mark David Chapman and others.

The six-part series, produced by ABC’s Lincoln Square Productions, is just one of seven new series being offered by the crime-and-drama cable outlet, which has become one of the stronger growth operations at its parent company in recent years. The network will offer more than 650 hours of original content over the next programming year, said Henry Schleiff, a Discovery group president who oversees the outlet.

Discovery unveiled the new Investigation Discovery series as part of its revelations for the coming “upfront” market, when U.S. networks try to sell the bulk of their ad inventory for the coming programming year.

ID also unveiled a new series hosted and executive produced by talk-show host Wendy Williams.  “Death by Gossip” will showcase crimes fueled by rumors.

Other new offerings from the network include “Serial Thriller,” a three-part original scripted series produced by October Films, that will show how the lives of investigators, victims and associates all intertwine over the course of a mystery involving a serial killer. Director Joel Schumacher will executive produce “Do Not Disturb: Hotel Horrors,” all about real-life cases of tragedies involving hotels. “Forbidden: Dying For Love” will center on people who break religious conventions in the name of love.


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