True crime is something of a craze on the small screen nowadays, ranging from scripted dramas like The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story on FX to docuseries like Making a Murderer on Netflix. The infamous 1996 murder case of young JonBenet Ramsey will be the next to get the TV treatment. In fact, her case will be getting a lot of TV treatment in a variety of mediums. The 6-year old beauty queen's murder remains unsolved despite intensive investigation from authorities and a media blitzkrieg that drew the attention of the masses. JonBenet's life and death will soon be revisited via a newly announced TV movie, as well as the previously established documentary event and daytime talk show.
Lifetime is producing a TV original movie called Who Killed JonBenet? that will examine the true story of JonBenet Ramsey's murder, because of course Lifetime is producing a TV movie about JonBenet Ramsey. The special will revisit the events immediately following the discovery of the young JonBenet in the basement of the Ramsey family home. The lead detective will be played by Eion Bailey, and the Ramsey parents will be played by Michael Gill and Julia Campbell. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey spent years facing accusations of involvement in their daughter's death, and public opinion was largely against them thanks to the media circus after news of the murder broke; they were not exonerated until 2003 when DNA evidence surfaced. It should be interesting to see how Who Killed JonBenet? will portray the Ramsey parents when it premieres sometime this fall.
On the other side of things, CBS will be going in a different direction with the JonBenet Ramsey case. The network is producing a six-hour limited event docuseries now called The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey that looks back at the original investigations and enlists new experts to review the evidence with technology that had not been available back in the late 1990s. The series will use a combination of interviews and experiments to try to get to the bottom of the case that has fascinated the public for two decades now. The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey premieres on Sunday, September 18 at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS.
Dr. Phil will bring in a key figure from the Ramsey family to give his take on the tragedy. JonBenet's brother Burke will appear on the talk show to speak about his sister's death for the first time. Burke was only nine years old in 1996, and it's understandable that he didn't want to discuss what happened to JonBenet when he had only been a child himself. He's breaking his silence in a big way with not one but three interviews with Dr. Phil McGraw on Dr. Phil. The first interview will open the 15th season of the show on Monday, September 12. The second will air on September 13, and the third will debut on September 19.
The murder of JonBenet Ramsey has been featured in TV specials throughout the years, but it seems that the 20th anniversary of her death has brought the case back into the limelight. I only hope that all of the coverage this fall will be respectful rather than sensational. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what else you'll be able to watch in the near future.