Let's be clear. I am addicted to Investigation Discovery's true-crime channel. Who doesn't enjoy a good crime show or crime series every once in a while? This is especially true when the crime show or series is based on a true-crime case, such as Investigation Discovery's documentary-style format.
As one can imagine, these shows can be a gory treat for the regular viewer. The problem is that "true-crime addicts" or "ID addicts" long for more. And that's where Investigation Discovery's latest programming could use some tweaking.
Take a look at some of their more successful shows, such as "Deadly Women." That show in particular is an intense high-drama show that evokes a feeling of fear in many viewers. The strong, no-nonsense voice of Candice Delong, and the deeply disturbing way the villain looks into the camera gives us chill bumps as we listen to every bloody detail of the crime. Viewers want more of that.
Specifically, most true-crime series viewers want to "feel" the story. In other words, when the story ends, we want to be angry, scared, sad, or feel pity for the victims. Viewers should never come away with a feeling that they've watched "just another ordinary murder."
Producers for the Investigation Discovery crime franchise would do well to find a variety of crime cases that have received little media attention or exposure. How many times have you complained about the lack of originality as the same crime cases are repeated on various channels? Make no mistake, most of the stories are very moving and intriguing. And we love every shocking detail. But, must we see the same cases repeated on every single show from "Deadly Women" to "Southern Fried Homicide," and later on new crime series such as "Secret Lives of Stepford Wives?"
What would be better is to have the production companies and show producers find true crime stories buried in the pages of old newspapers that people have forgotten about over time. Bring those people's stories and their lives to the screen, so that their stories can be heard....and told.
A good idea for a show would be to include more true-crime stories featuring diverse groups. For example, a show featuring African American true-crime cases, or even one that includes Latino/Hispanic crimes. A few Asian American stories peppered among the group of shows would also work.
The guilty pleasure-tongue-in-cheek shows are incredibly entertaining, but a coverage of old crime cases from the 1980's or even some crimes from the 1940's and 1950's would be equally interesting. The kind of true crime cases that people would talk about for years---crimes you'd never forget---the kind that you'd pass down to your children so that they could avoid the tragedies that befall so many unsuspecting victims.
Now that would make excellent programming.