Following the success of Faking It: Jimmy Savile, Discovery UK will once again team up with Shearwater Media to produce a brand new series of Faking It: Tears of a Crime, along with three specials focusing on Michael Jackson, and US family killer Chris Watts and serial killer Ted Bundy.

The 3 x 60’ specials will follow experts in body language, linguistics and forensic psychology as they examine footage and interviews of Jackson, Watts and Bundy, homing in on the micro-gestures, flinches and vocal fumbles that potentially signpost their guilt.

Across the three specials, body language expert Dr Cliff Lansley, Professor of Linguistics Dawn Archer and Forensic Psychologist Kerry Daynes will meticulously analyse and pull out the potential tell-tale signs of deception captured on footage for each case. Whether it’s the shrug of the shoulder, the slip of the tongue or clues in their psychological profile, the three experts will add to the conversation and ask, are they faking it?

Before his death in 2009, Michael Jackson was the biggest pop star on the planet. From leading the Jackson 5 as an 8-year-old singing sensation, to forging his own glittering solo career, Jackson earned himself the title of the ‘King of Pop.’ But for more than 20 years, Jackson’s private life was marred by dark rumours and allegations. On two occasions, Jackson was accused of child sex abuse but never found guilty. More than a decade after his death, allegations against Jackson persist.

Now, in Michael Jackson: A Faking It Special, using footage and interviews of Jackson and his family, experts in body language, speech and forensic psychology will controversially debate over the big question: was Jackson ‘faking it’ when he was on camera?

During the 1970s, Ted Bundy committed 30 homicides in seven different states, making him one of the America’s most prolific serial killers. In Ted Bundy: A Faking It Special, experts study police interrogation tapes and courtroom footage to reveal how Bundy was able to escape justice for so long, by distorting facts, creating confusion and manipulating the truth. They also examine his eve-of-execution interviews in which he finally confessed to being a murderer.

In full contrast to his family man image, Chris Watts garnered international attention in 2018 when he was arrested and convicted for the murder of his pregnant wife, Shannon, and his two daughters, four-year-old Bella and three-year-old Celeste. The horrific, senseless murders were documented in Netflix series American Murder: The Family Next Door. In Chris Watts: A Faking It Special , experts pour through the police bodycam footage of the initial search, along with the TV news interviews and interrogation recordings, to pick out the chilling tell-tale clues that Chris was the murderer.

As well as green lighting three specials, Discovery has commissioned Shearwater Media to produce a 6 x 60’ fifth series Faking It: Tears of a Crime, which will delve into some of the most enthralling and spine-tingling criminal cases in UK and international criminal history.

Also, from Shearwater comes Jimmy Savile: Hiding in Plain Sight (w/t), a revealing 2×60 exclusive documentary series for discovery+ that explores who he was, how he got away with it and identifies the chilling key moments when he could have been stopped. The documentary features new statements from key witnesses and whistle blowers who detail the culture that allowed his rise to fame.

The documentary charts Savile’s roots, his upbringing, and his rise to fame. New light is shone on the rumours that surrounded Savile in the 1970s and 1980s and the shocking moment that in 1995 when an explosive Sunday Mirror article almost exposed him as a paedophile and sex offender. Once he was ‘Mr Top of the Pops’, now he is known as Britain’s most notorious sex abuser.

The three specials and series were ordered by Clare Laycock and Charlotte Reid is the Commissioner. Romy Page is Commissioning Executive for discovery+ and Steve Anderson and Jeff Anderson are the Executive Producers for Shearwater Media.

On ordering the specials, Clare Laycock, SVP, Head of Lifestyle and Entertainment Brands at Discovery UK and Ireland, said: “Following the successes we have seen in the Faking It: Tears of a Crime franchise in the last year, I am delighted to be working with Shearwater once again for another captivating series and three more specials. Michael Jackson is one of the most revered yet controversial figures in modern popular culture and putting his profile and chequered history under the microscope signposts another exciting chapter in the Faking It: Tears of a Crime journey!”

Steve Anderson, Executive Producer at Shearwater Media, added: “Faking It: Tears of Crime is hugely popular with Discovery viewers. The insights and observations of our experts allow famous cases to be seen in a completely fresh light. The brand has transferred successfully to discovery+ and reaching new audiences keen to learn more about stories that continue to fascinate.”

Jon Creamer

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