EXCLUSIVE: FilmRise, the Brooklyn-based film and TV distributor, is launching its first original production, forensic investigative series Bloodline Detectives hosted by Nancy Grace with Peninsula Television in partnership with Sky Studios.
Genesis TV will syndicate the 20-episode series, which features criminal investigations using familial DNA. It will premiere nationwide Oct. 3 on stations reaching nearly 90% of the country followed by a roll out on streaming platforms in 2021.
FilmRise is heavily into true crime, distributing the original Robert Stack-hosted Unsolved Mysteries, and Forensic Files, one of its first major acquisitions, to streamers. The company’s CEO Danny Fisher called the genre “a space whose audience we understand well.”
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Its new series will unpack cold case murder investigations solved through Familial DNA Search, a growing branch of forensics where detectives trace an unknown criminal through a relative’s DNA. It was used to find the Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., a former police officer arrested in 2018 for a string of rapes and murders in the 1970s and 80s. He pled guilty in June, just after HBO aired docuseries I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. He was caught because a relative’s DNA was available on a genealogy website.
“Familial DNA will help solve cases that have remained open for decades,” said Grace, the legal analyst and former prosecutor, calling it the latest example of how forensic technology is changing criminal investigation. The peripatetic host, working on season two of Injustice with Nancy Grace for Oxygen, with a book, Don’t Be a Victim, coming in September and a website called CrimeOnline, has been connecting audiences with murder trials and true crime for decades.
“Fascination with crime has been around since the beginning of time; we still talk about Cain and Abel – the first murder, that we know of. In fact, our founding fathers stated in their equivalent of legislative minutes that they wanted courtrooms to be big enough for the whole community to see justice unfold,” she told Deadline.
“We look at … say Scott Peterson or Jodi Arias or ‘CultMom’ Lori Vallow or even [Jeffrey] Epstein or [Ghislaine] Maxwell and think, wow, they seem to have it all…right? It’s as if the mind is tricking the eye. It’s a conundrum that we innately want to solve.”
FilmRise has over 30,000 hours of scripted and unscripted mostly classic television in release on Amazon Prime, the Roku Channel, Pluto TV, Peacock, IMDb TV, Tubi, Sling TV, Samsung TV Plus and other platforms, including its own FilmRise streaming network. Top shows, along with Unsolved Mysteries and Forensic Files, include Midsomer Murders, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Rifleman and 21 Jump Street. Fisher launched FilmRise in 2012 and its become one of the largest third-party content providers to ad-supported streaming services in the U.S. and is growing internationally.
Grace and producing partner John Terenzio along with Fisher, FilmRise CFO Goetz Grossmann, VP of Acquisitions Max Einhorn and David Harvey of Peninsula Television serve as Executive Producers for Bloodline Detectives.
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