As the true-crime trend surges, Hulu will approach it from all sides.
One documentary will be a straight-forward crime tale. Another will view the long-range impact of such stories. And a fictional tale (“Only Murders in the Building”) will turn the trend into comedy.
That last one is from Steve Martin, who says he’s a true-crime fan. “Steve’s a deep well (of knowledge) when it comes to podcasts,” producer Dan Fogelman told the Television Critics Association.
Martin hatched the idea of three crime-buffs obsessed with a possible murder in their apartment building. He stars with Selena Gomez (shown here) and Martin Short, in a 10-part comedy-drama that starts Aug. 31. “This is one of the most unusual things that I’ve done,” he said, “because it actually has a plot.”
Another Hulu show might also be called true-crime. “Dopesick” is a nine-part, scripted mini-series, viewing the epidemic that began when OxyContin was incorrectly labeled as non-addictive. “I couldn’t believe what the company did – and how it kept doing it, over and over,” said writer Danny Strong, whose scripts have already received an Emmy (“Game Change”) and nomination (“Recount”).
Hulu announced Friday that “Dopesick” will debut Oct. 13. It also previewed “Nine Perfect Strangers,” which will debut Aug. 18, reuniting the “Big Little Lies” combination of novelist Liane Moriarty, producer/writer David E. Kelley and star Nicole Kidman. And it announced:
– An upcoming comedy series, “This Fool,” not yet scheduled. Comedian Chris Estrada will produce and star as a guy in working-class South Central Los Angeles.
– The true-crime documentaries, not yet scheduled. “Dead Asleep” is about a man who said he was sleepwalking when he committed a murder. “Captive Audience” is a mini-series about a boy who disappeared in 1972, at 7, and returned almost a decade later; it also views how the national attention – including a TV movie – has affected his family for decades.
– Two dates for second-season openers. “Animaniacs,” the animated reboot, starts Nov. 5; “The Great,” the comedy based loosely – very loosely – on Russia’s Catherine the Great, starts Nov. 19.
– And three new food shows. “Baker’s Dozen,” a competition, will be Oct. 7 …. “The Next Thing You Eat,” a six-part Morgan Neville documentary, will be Oct. 21 … and Padma Lakshmi’s “Taste the Nation” will have a four-part holiday edition, starting Nov. 4.