True crime narratives are all the rage right now, and CBS has been working hard to get its own true crime shows into development over the past several months. The network first signed on for a project that would follow the JonBenet Ramsay case. Now, a second limited series about a very different case is coming together. This weekend, we learned that CBS has signed on for a new limited series that would follow Patty Hearst's kidnapping and the 19 months of insanity that followed.
The project is currently untitled, and we don't know whether or not CBS will order it to series, yet. However, we do know it would pick up with Patty Hearst's kidnapping in 1974 by the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974 while at an apartment in Berkeley, California. Hearst was targeted because she was the granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst, who had made a fortune publishing newspapers around the turn of the century. Over time, Patty Hearst came to understand and even sympathize with her kidnappers and would rob banks and commit other acts with them. If the project moves forward, THR reports the limited program would follow the 19 months Hearst was on the lam with her kidnappers while the FBI was on the case.
CBS television is producing, and Jonathan Tolins will write and executive produce. Jonathan Koch, Steve Michaels, Rocky Lang and Joan Harrison will also executive produce.
We do know that a Patty Hearst kidnapping series will have plenty of competition from the other networks, cable channels and streaming services. NBC News' Peacock Productions has already announced a true crime narrative coming from the perspective of Nicole Brown Simpson's sister, Denise Brown, although that one hasn't found a home, yet. In addition, another season of the scripted true crime series, American Crime Story is in the works and NBC has a similar scripted crime series that will follow the story of Lyle and Erik Menendez, who gained notoriety after becoming the main suspects in the murders of their parents. That series will be the latest Law & Order spinoff to make it to the air, as well.
While ID's programming and other true crime TV programs like 48 Hours have been mainstays for a long time, the true crime genre got a whole lot trendier after The Jinx premiered on HBO and Making A Murderer premiered on Netflix. Both narratives managed to earn acclaim for their subject matter and the way the crime cases were laid out to tell compelling stories. They were also popular with audiences, to boot. It's no real surprise that other networks would be attempting the same sort of thing over the next few TV seasons.
We'll just have to wait and see whether or not this one moves forward. For now, you can check out what CBS has on the schedule for this fall. In addition, you can see what else is coming to TV this summer with our premiere schedule.