Snapchat has ordered a new original crime series titled True Crime/Uncovered, which is labeled as a series of four minute-long documentary shorts focusing on murders and disappearances. The first episodes launches at 12 p.m. EST today in English-speaking markets, with the video team of American media company Condé Nast Entertainment producing. Each episode of the series will feature a different case, with Samantha Grace Miller hosting.
A press release summarizes the first three episodes as follows:
The first episode examines the 2014 case of Warriena Wright, whose Tinder date turned deadly after she fell from a balcony. But was it an accident? The episode features an interview with Daniel Piotrowski, a reporter for Daily Mail who covered the case.
Episode two, available March 14, examines the 2009 case of Annie Le, the Yale graduate student who vanished five days before her wedding before being found murdered. The episode features an interview with now retired New Haven Police Detective, Lt. Lisa Dadio, a former investigator on the case.
The third episode, available March 16, delves into the 2014 Slender Man case, in which two 12-year-old girls stabbed their friend nearly to death in an effort to please the fictional character Slender Man. The episode features an interview with Dr. Melissa Westendorf, a court-appointed forensic psychologist on the case.
At the In-TV conference in Jerusalem yesterday, head of original content at Snapchat Sean Mills gave a first look at the series. This is not the first series Snapchat plans to execute. The social media platform aired 40 unscripted shows last year after bringing Mills on board in 2015, including the prank series Fright Club and the competition fashion show hosted by celebrity stylist Sophie Lopez, Nail the Look, both of which were renewed for second seasons last month. Mills has many plans for Snapchat’s original content. He says, ”“This is a year where we’ll play with a lot of new genres. We’re still experimenting.” According to Deadline, Mills is interested in developing a horror series, a teen drama series and even a daily soap opera inspired by Latin American telenovelas.
This announcement comes at a good time for Snapchat, as the company recently lost $1.3 billion in stock values after a damning tweet was posted on Feb. 21. Reality star Kylie Jenner made headlines when she tweeted to her 24.9 million followers, “soo does anyone else not use Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad,” resulting in the massive loss. Jenner is a major celebrity influencer of the platform but was in no way sponsored by the company.
Snapchat also hopes to really draw the attention of older audiences with this move, chiefly the users ages 25 and up who constitute over half of the newcomers to the social media platform. These new users are Snapchat’s fastest growing segment, according to Mills.
Mills also hopes to expand Snapchat’s original programming reach soon. While it mainly focuses in the U.S. market, Mills has expressed interest in the U.K. and has urged a lot of European producers to approach them with series pitches.
The three remaining episodes of True Crime will be detailed at a later date. Previously released episodes can be found using Snapchat’s Search feature.