Keshet International is launching a new commissioning initiative called KI’s Greenlight: Factual & Formats, with the announcement of its first straight-to-series order for international distribution.
KI has commissioned Woodcut Media to produce a 10×60’ true crime docuseries entitled Catch Me If You Can – which delves into the world of murderers who evaded capture while taunting those tasked with bringing them to justice.
The series commission follows a true crime focused producer pitch hosted in London at the end of 2022. Catch Me If You Can is the first factual series the global producer and distributor has greenlit to date, with KI choosing to fully-fund this specific title.
KI plans to host its second annual producer pitch – this time broadened out to include premium factual content and formats, as well as true crime – on Monday 27 November 2023.
With the objective of greenlighting up to three English-language projects a year – either fully funded by KI or co-funded in partnership with at least one broadcast or streaming partner – KI’s Greenlight: Factual & Formats initiative will be focussed on commissioning original premium factual content and formats with international appeal for distribution.
Kelly Wright, KI’s MD of Distribution says, “Premium factual content and formats continue to be in high demand from buyers, while many producers are struggling to get series commissioned. So, we are thrilled to be launching KI’s Greenlight: Factual & Formats initiative while announcing our first series order for Catch Me If You Can, following our first true crime producer pitch. By responding collaboratively to market needs in this way, we’re finding a different way of getting fresh, new content on to TV screens around the world.”
Anke Stoll, KI’s SVP of Acquisitions and Co-productions – who will be managing KI’s Greenlight: Factual and Format initiative – adds, “We were really impressed by the quality of shows pitched live by a selection of hand-picked factual producers last November, as were the buyers who joined us. Woodcut Media’s Catch Me If You Can appealed to all of us as it is a strong returning format that also has the flexibility to feature international cases to order. We’re excited to be extending the scope of our next producer pitch on 27 November to include formats as well as premium factual more broadly.”
Kate Beal, Woodcut Media’s CEO comments, “We first partnered with Keshet International on World’s Most Evil Killers back in 2016, with the first episodes premiering on Sky the following year. Telling these stories with sensitivity towards the victims, and those close to them was paramount. At the time we felt we had a concept for the series that would be engaging, and fast forward to 2023 with eight seasons and 160 episodes produced to date and multiple global broadcast partners, thanks to Anke and the sales team at KI – the series has far exceeded our expectations.
“With Catch Me If You Can we take the same approach, thoroughly researching each case and providing expert analysis and stylized re-enactments. However, with this new series, the focus is on the actual chase and final capture of the elusive killer, with each episode taking viewers on a kind of roller coaster ride of ‘will they or won’t they catch them’ at every turn.”
Each episode of Catch Me if You Can follows a killer, exploring the mind games they play to outsmart those tasked with bringing them to justice. In this true crime docuseries, the focus is very much on the chase. With a blend of first-hand accounts, expert analysis, and stylized recreation, this series offers a different look into the methods and systems used by the police to finally capture these murderers.
Killers profiled in this first series include James Watson, who was finally convicted in June 2022 of killing Ricki Neve in 1994; the Amazon Review Killer, Todd Kohlhepp, who murdered seven people over a decade; cop killer Eric Frein, who disappeared into the Pocono Mountains, initiating Pennsylvania’s longest manhunt in history that lasted 48 days and cost $12 million; and 24-year-old Amanda Taylor, who went on the run with a friend, having stabbed her husband’s father-in-law to death.
Catch Me if You Can will be executive produced by Kate Beal and Nick Mavroidakis at Woodcut Media alongside KI’s Kelly Wright, with Angie Cox as Series Producer. Pre-production begins shortly, with filming slated for October. Keshet International will launch Catch Me If You Can to market at MIPCOM 2024.
As worldwide distributor for all eight 20×60’ series of World’s Most Evil Killers produced to date (totalling 160 episodes), KI has sold this true crime docuseries to 96 territories to date. World’s Most Evil Killers is also KI’s most successful AVOD title, with multiple deals signed with Filmrise, Tubi TV, Hoopla and Little Dot.
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