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Oxygen turns to a life of crime, rebrands itself as Crime Network

Artist's rendering of the new Oxygen board of directors.

Ladies love cool crime—at least, that’s been the unofficial motto of nearly all women-targeting TV channels and programming in the 21st century. From the countless true-crime series riddling every channel courting female viewers to NBC deciding it would be cool to dub its evening of sex-crime drama “ladies’ night,” the crime beat is increasingly a key element of any xx-chromosome-centric TV. So much so, in fact, that we reported last year on how Law & Order Svengali Dick Wolf was in talks to potentially transform the Oxygen channel in an all-crime affair. Now, Deadline reports, the change has come to pass, with Oxygen being rebranded as the Crime Network—and while Wolf won’t be running the show, he’ll be producing some of the flagship series for the newly lawbreaking channel. And if anybody gets smart with him, they’ll be taking a dirt nap, see?

Starting this summer, Oxygen will be revamped into an all-crime programming channel, and launch two new series: A reboot of Cold Justice, Dick Wolf’s reality investigation show that ran on TNT for three seasons, and The Jury Speaks, which will “examine high-profile cases through the eyes of the jury.” That means it’s curtains—ya hear me, curtains!—for the three remaining non-crime shows in the channel’s current lineup: Bad Girls Club, Sisterhood Of Hip-Hop and the upcoming Battle Of The Ex Besties, which is somehow not a show about Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie fighting to the death. While the channel’s ratings had slipped in recent years, its “Crime Time” programming block, anchored by Snapped, the 14-years-and-running docu-drama series, performed strongly.


So, after expanding the Crime Time bloc to four days a week and seeing improvements in numbers, Oxygen decided to say “fuck it” and turn the whole thing into nothing but murder, theft, and generalized violence of the illegal kind. Anyone on staff who had a problem with it presumably had a long chat with the pointy end of Oxygen’s knife—and that goes for the rest of you mugs, too, yeah? In addition, the channel has launched a podcast, Martinis & Murder, which focuses on a different murder each episode, but with an emphasis on unsolved cases, in case you were worried the ad copy would just say, “You know My Favorite Murder? Yeah, basically that.” Also premiering in March is Three Days To Live, another docu-drama blending true-life reporting with recreations of abductions. No new scripted series for the time being, but executives say they’re open to it, especially if someone makes them an offer they can’t refuse.

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