EXCLUSIVE: Epix is exploring the story of Charles Manson and his followers in a docuseries from An Inconvenient Truth producer Lesley Chilcott, Berlanti Productions, Rogue Atlas Productions and Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.
The MGM-owned broadcaster has ordered six-part series Helter Skelter, a comprehensive telling of the story of how Manson and his cult terrorized California in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
It comes just over 50 years after the murder of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojtek Frykowski and Steven Parent and Manson’s subsequent trial. It will chronicle the Manson Family history, featuring never-before-accessed interviews from former family members and journalists first on the scene and in the courtroom, with archival footage and newly-unearthed images.
The six-part docuseries, which premieres on June 14, is executive produced by Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter for Berlanti Productions and it marks the company’s latest docuseries after it landed four-part series Equal, chronicling landmark events and the forgotten heroes of the LGBTQ+ movement, at HBO Max along with Jim Parsons and That’s Wonderful Productions, Scout Productions, Jon Jashni (Lost in Space) and Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.
Eli Frankel will also exec produce Helter Skelter for Rogue Atlas Productions, the company behind Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian for E!, while Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, which recently launched a new documentary series unit under Mike Darnell, serves as the studio.
Lesley Chilcott, producer of the Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, will direct as well serve as executive producer.
Helter Skelter is part of Epix’s slate of original docuseries. The company aims to air around 50 hours of non-scripted content a year, as part of 100 hours of original content. Other projects include music series Laurel Canyon, directed by Alison Ellwood (History of the Eagles) and Watergate series Slow Burn, based on the hit podcast.
Lesley Chilcott said, “Helter Skelter set outs to illuminate new perspectives on one of the most legendary crimes of our time. The filmmaking team and I are grateful for the collaborations with Berlanti Productions, Rogue Atlas, Warner Horizon and Epix and the opportunity to tell this complete story.”
“Working with the brilliant Lesley Chilcott and the talented teams at Berlanti Productions, Rogue Atlas and Warner Horizon Unscripted has been a fantastic journey,” said Michael Wright, President, Epix. “Helter Skelter’s bone-chilling narrative is rooted in one of the most infamous and fascinating crimes of the past several decades, and we’re thrilled that this story is being so expertly told on Epix.”
“Helter Skelter is an edge-of-your-seat thriller about a small-time con artist who spearheaded one of the most unspeakable murder tragedies in history,” added Brooke Karzen, the Executive Vice President and Head of Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. “It explores the age-old question: are killers born or are they made?”