Craze for ‘90s true crime continues: CBS is reportedly developing a JonBenet Ramsey series

Prime time is going true crime all the time.

On the heels of FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson” comes the news that CBS is developing an unscripted series about the 1996 murder of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey.

Sources familiar with the project but not authorized to speak publicly say that the network is in final negotiations with Tom Forman, an Emmy Award-winning producer (“9/11,” “48 Hours”), and Critical Content to produce a limited series about the still-unsolved crime, which sparked a flurry of media interest in the late ‘90s and continues to be the focus of bizarre conspiracy theories.

CBS plans to broadcast the series as early as this fall, in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the discovery of Ramsey’s death on Dec. 26, 1996.

The project is the latest in an industry-wide feeding frenzy for true-crime stories, and particularly for lurid tabloid tales from the ‘90s. The trend began last year with “The Jinx” on HBO, continued with Netflix’s “Making a Murderer,” and reached a tipping point with “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” which wrapped Tuesday night after a well-received run.

The following day NBC announced it was planning a scripted, true-crime spinoff of “Law & Order.” The first season of the anthology series will deal with the case of Lyle and Erik Menendez, who after a protracted legal battle were convicted of the 1989 murders of their wealthy parents. (No word yet on whether ABC is developing a Lorena Bobbitt miniseries, but surely it’s just a matter of time.)


In contrast, the Ramsey project will be a docuseries featuring original investigators from the infamous case as well as new experts who will weigh in on the evidence. It has the potential to be a recurring, limited-run series that will deal with a different case each season.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

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