Investigation Discovery Greenlights JonBenét Ramsey Series & Police Brutality Special

Investigation Discovery has greenlit a three-part special surrounding the 1996 JonBenét Ramsey murder mystery, the cabler announced Monday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif.

ID also announced the development of a scripted series from author James Patterson, plus a documentary about the current state of police affairs and race relations.

“JonBenét: An American Murder Mystery” debuts Monday, Sept. 12 at 10 p.m. The three-part special hails from Weinstein Television, Jupiter Entertainment and American Media, Inc., and will present new evidence and include exclusive interviews.

“Provocative, investigative programming is what ID does best — and there is no better case for us to take on than the two-decade long, agonizing mystery of what happened to JonBenét Ramsey,” said Henry Schleiff, group president of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America. “The fact is, we may never definitively know the answer to that question — but ID will re-explore every angle, every shred of evidence, and every ‘whodunit’ theory to allow our viewers to draw their own conclusions on the case.”

Exec producers are Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Patrick Reardon, Stephen Land, Allison Wallach, Matt Sprouse, David Pecker and Dylan Howard. ID’s Pamela Deutsch is senior executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production and Kevin Bennett is general manager.

Investigation Discovery’s special is the latest TV project surrounding JonBenét Ramsey, following CBS’s unscripted true crime anthology series, which will first focus on the highly-publicized murder case.

“Bookshots,” hailing from best-selling author Patterson, was also announced at TCA.

Currently in development, Patterson will write and exec produce the six-part series for Investigation Discovery, based on true crime stories written for his new line of novella-length thriller stories, “BookShots,” which will be released in 2017 in conjunction with the television premiere of the ID series.

“As the best-selling author, around the world, since 2001, there is no bigger name than James Patterson,” said Schleiff. “Patterson is the ultimate storyteller, and for a television network known for its own powerful storytelling, to now have him as our ‘partner in crime’ is truly a match made in heaven for his readers and ID’s viewers.

“Imagine me saying this, but truth can definitely be stranger than fiction. My plan is that we will create a groundbreaking series that shatters the true crime mold and attracts the widest possible audience for Investigation Discovery, and also ‘BookShots,’” added Patterson, who will exec produce with Bill Robinson and Leopoldo Gout. Jane Latman, Kozak, Bennett and Schleiff developed the project for ID. Bill Robinson and Leopoldo Gout will executive produce for James Patterson Entertainment.

“Black and Blue,” an hourlong special about police affairs and race relations, has also been greenlit at ID. Hosted by journalist Tony Harris, the one-off is slated to premiere this fall.

Inspired by recent shootings by and against police, Harris will travel the country to reveal how these events impact African-American families in their homes and communities across the U.S., while also giving viewers a look into what it’s like to be a law enforcement officer working to protect our not-so-united municipalities in these troubling times.

“In the aftermath of the tragic deaths of numerous police officers and the egregious shooting deaths of multiple black men this summer, there is no doubt this nation is in crisis,” said Schleiff. “These may be among the most turbulent times in our country since the civil rights movement in the 50s & 60s, and, accordingly, we believe that Tony Harris who has been reporting on race relations for more than three decades is well positioned to examine this issue and provide context – historical and personal – to this multi-faceted debate.

Hailing from NBC News’ Peacock Productions, Elizabeth Fischer, Knute Walker, Sharon Scott, Lorna Thomas, Kozak, Bennett and Schleiff are behind the special.

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