REELZ today announced original programming for winter, spring and early summer 2018 including six new original series, new episodes of five returning viewer favorites and four new specials. The specials include a revealing look at the Swedish pop group ABBA in ABBA: When All is Said and Done, music and entertainment legend Elton John celebrating his top 20 hits in Elton John: The Nation’s Favorite Song, the true story behind the rise of rock band Queen in Queen: How They Broke Free while Martin Luther King Jr.: One Man and His Dream is a timely and important look at the life and legacy of the world renowned civil rights leader as 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
“We’re excited to continue our commitment to showing our viewers insightful, relevant and powerful real stories about celebrities including a very fun look at superstar entertainer Elton John which is scheduled the day before the Grammys,” said Steve Cheskin, SVP of Programming at REELZ. “We also have an essential look at iconic civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. which will run in the days leading up to the 50th anniversary of his assassination. With this lineup of returning and new series and specials we look forward to fulfilling our viewers’ desire for programming that shows the complete picture of fame and captures their fascination with the burdens and blessings of celebrity status.”
Confirmed premiere dates and times:
Real Story of… (new episodes)- Tuesday, January 9 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
ABBA: When All is Said and Done (new documentary special)- Saturday, January 20 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
Elton John: The Nation’s Favorite Song (new documentary special)- Saturday, January 27 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
Stalker Files (new series)- Saturday, January 27 at 9:30pm ET/ 6:30pm PT*
Queen: How They Broke Free (new documentary special)- Sunday, January 28 at 10:30pm ET/ 7:30pm PT
Autopsy: The Last Hours of… (new episodes)- Sunday, February 11 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
The Price of Fame (new series)- Sunday, February 11 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
Gangsters: America’s Most Evil (new episodes)- Tuesday, March 6 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
It Happened Here (new series)- Saturday, March 10 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT*
Martin Luther King Jr.: One Man and His Dream (new documentary special)- Sunday, April 1 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
Below are descriptions for all new and returning programming listed by premiere date:
Real Story of… (Tuesday, January 9 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT)- What happens when the story and the people behind a movie are more intriguing, and thrilling than the movie itself? New episodes of Real Story of… reveal the true stories behind famous and in some cases Oscar(R)-nominated movies including why Mark Zuckerberg says that his clothes are the only accurate things in the movie The Social Network or why the hero of Hacksaw Ridge was even more courageous than the movie depicts. Other new episodes show the incredible true stories behind Zodiac, Goodfellas, Zero Dark Thirty and Patriot’s Day. Each hour-long episode takes viewers behind the scenes to separate fact from fiction with interviews from the real people who experienced the extraordinary events and also uses enthralling dramatic reconstructions and archive footage of the actual events depicted in the movies. Real Story of… is produced by World Media Rights.
ABBA: When All is Said and Done (Saturday, January 20 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT)- This is the untold story of Agnetha Faltskog and “Frida” Anni-Frid Lyngstad, the two women of Swedish pop super group ABBA as told through their own words and from those who were in the band’s close circle. From the shocking highs of extreme fame to the devastating lows of long periods of separation from children, family and a normal life, ABBA: When All is Said and Done shows pulls back the curtain on what life in ABBA was like and what led to the eventual break-up of the band. Helping to tell the band’s story are interviews with ABBA biographer Carl Magnus Palm, friend Lolo Murray and several of those who worked closely with the group including costume designer Owe Sandstrum, saxophonist Johan Stengard, guitarist Mike Watson and sound engineer Claes af Geijerstam among others. ABBA: When All is Said and Done is a two hour documentary special produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
Elton John: The Nation’s Favorite Song (U.S. Premiere on Saturday, January 27 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT)- Having performed for half a century and counting Elton John has played more than 4,000 concerts in 80 countries, sold upwards of 300 million records and his timeless style and brilliant music has crossed generations. Celebrate the very best of Elton’s illustrious career in this 90-minute documentary special as Elton himself describes the inspirations and fascinating real stories behind his 20 greatest songs as voted on by fans. Elton John: The Nation’s Favorite Song mixes rich archive footage and home videos with new interviews to paint a picture of the incredibly dynamic man behind the music. Elton shares hilarious stories about his trademark outrageous wardrobe choices and details his 50-year working relationship with songwriter and lyricist Bernie Taupin in addition to discussing his many collaborations including those with Kiki Dee and the late George Michael. See interviews with musicians and celebrities who Elton has worked with or inspired throughout the years including Ed Sheeran, Sharon Osbourne, James Corden, Annie Lennox, Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, Sting, Chris Martin, Billy Joel, James Bay, Quincy Jones, Boy George, Dionne Warwick and Rob Lowe among others. Elton John: The Nation’s Favorite Song is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
Stalker Files (Saturday, January 27 at 9:30pm ET/ 6:30pm PT*)- Take an unnerving dive into the cases of stalkers whose unrelenting obsession with a celebrity led to jarring and sometimes tragic ends. Episodes of this new series include the chilling stalking cases involving Erin Andrews, David Letterman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michael Douglas, Steven Spielberg, Jodie Foster, Christina Grimmie, Rebecca Schaeffer and Brooke Shields. In the series premiere see the stalker story involving Madonna. Every hour-long episode unfolds with two seemingly separate timelines building to a climax of fear and violence with each story presented through expert interviews, recreations, actual case files and insights from seasoned law enforcement officials. Stalker Files is produced by Buck Productions.
Queen: How They Broke Free (U.S. Premiere Sunday, January 28 at 10:30pm ET/ 7:30pm PT)- Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon – four names synonymous with one of the world’s all-time greatest rock bands, Queen. During their illustrious career Queen released 15 studio albums in total and sold more than 150 million albums worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time. Queen: How They Broke Free is an hour-long documentary special that tells the story of the rise of one of the greatest and iconic rock bands in the world from the very beginning through to the sad demise of Freddie Mercury in 1991. Through classic archive footage of some of their greatest hits and interviews with Brian May, photographer Mick Rock, music journalist Rosie Horide, former band publicist Eric Hall and renowned broadcaster Paul Gambaccini among others see the incredible and unique story of Queen. Queen: How They Broke Free is produced by Legacy Distribution.
Autopsy: The Last Hours of… (Sunday, February 11 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT)- Every episode of this documentary series reveals the truth behind the controversial and mysterious deaths of celebrities and people whose untimely deaths were often surrounded by elements of shock, scandal and intense media attention. The new hour-long episodes focus on the lives and last hours of James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Muhammad Ali, Miles Davis, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Andy Warhol, Cass Elliot aka “Mama Cass”, Andy Kaufman, Farrah Fawcett, Mindy McCready, Johnny Cash, George Harrison, George Michael, Gram Parsons, Barry White, Mary Tyler Moore and James Gandolfini. The series features reconstructions of their final hours based on crucial medical evidence from the actual autopsies while interviews with friends, family and experts shed light on the events that led to the celebrity’s death – finally putting an end to the mystery. Autopsy: The Last Hours of… is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
The Price of Fame (Sunday, February 11 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT)- The road to stardom is often paved with amazing and devastating public and private events. In hour-long episodes of The Price of Fame see the heartfelt stories of Shania Twain, Johnny Depp, Carrie Fisher, Patrick Swayze, Prince and Robin Williams. Whether it’s turbulent family drama, harrowing substance abuse, outlandish spending habits or a combination of those and more, these celebrities all paid a hefty price for their fame. Giving viewers an intimate perspective on each story are personal accounts from the celebrity’s family members and friends in addition to entertainment journalists who covered the rise, fall and sometimes rise again of the stars. The Price of Fame is produced by AMS Pictures.
Gangsters: America’s Most Evil (Tuesday, March 6 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT)- When Hollywood wants a jarring story about high-profile criminals fictional tales are never as juicy as the true stories of the most sinister stars of the underworld who were brought to justice by the U.S. government. In each new hour-long episode of Gangsters: America’s Most Evil the unsavory side of celebrity is put under the spotlight with profiles on the corrupt characters, ruthless outlaws and scary kingpins who inspire Hollywood crime dramas including Mafia Cops, David Thai, Vito Rizzuto and the Harvey Hustlers among others. Gangsters: America’s Most Evil is produced by Asylum Entertainment.
It Happened Here (Saturday, March 10 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT*): Each episode takes viewers to the exact sites that tell the story leading to a celebrity’s controversial or tragic event. We retrace the celebrity’s final footsteps and backtrack through the places that shape the celebrity’s life and lead to the eventual critical moment. From the Las Vegas Strip where Tupac Shakur was gunned down to the New York City stand-up clubs where Richard Pryor honed his comedy, It Happened Here paints a more complete picture of what really happened before a celebrity’s life changed forever. Other hour-long episodes include the stories behind Kurt Cobain, Andy Warhol, Joan Rivers, Janis Joplin, John Belushi, Marvin Gaye, John Lennon and Marilyn Monroe. It Happened Here is produced by Buck Productions.
Martin Luther King Jr.: One Man and His Dream (Sunday, April 1 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT)- On April 4th, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated – a catastrophic moment that shook the world. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the tragic event and in the two-hour documentary special, Martin Luther King Jr.: One Man and His Dream, host Sir Trevor McDonald explores the life and legacy of one of the most influential people to ever live and one who continues to influence modern politics decades after his death. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech described a vision of racial equality that inspired millions and propelled the civil rights movement. The special shows viewers the landmark locations and influential figures in King’s life. From Atlanta to Washington D.C, Bristol to Selma, McDonald travels the roads of King’s legacy interviewing people whose lives were touched by King including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Naomi Campbell, Reverend Al Sharpton, Ambassador Andrew Young, King’s former assistant Willie Pearl Mackey King and MLK biographer Clayborne Carson among others. Martin Luther King Jr.: One Man and His Dream is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
Murder Made Me Famous (April 2018)- The unnerving psychology behind murder has long been source material for television, books and movies but why do certain killers capture the attention of millions and their stories generate so much interest? In new hour-long episodes see the stories of Ted Kaczynski, Aaron Hernandez, Whitey Bulger, “Prom Mom” Melissa Drexler, Heaven’s Gate leader Marshall Applewhite and Green River Killer Gary Ridgway among others. Murder Made Me Famous presents dramatic recreations of well-known crimes using archival material and insightful commentary from those connected to the case to help unravel the twisted personalities behind the grisly crimes. Featured commentator for every episode is author and PEOPLE crime reporter, Steve Helling, who has covered several high-profile crime stories including the Natalee Holloway and Laci Peterson disappearances. Murder Made Me Famous is produced by AMS Pictures.
The Shocking Truth (April 2018)- In the wildly successful horror movie franchise Saw vengeful killer Jigsaw sets up elaborate death traps for unwitting victims. But the shocking truth behind the franchise is that it was inspired by the case of H.H. Holmes who in the late 19th century built a giant hotel in Chicago that had two floors designed like a nightmarish labyrinth with no windows, staircases leading to nowhere and soundproof rooms which Holmes used to murder innocent people. The perplexing stories of unsolved crimes, baffling mysteries and disturbing inspirations behind some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters take center stage in The Shocking Truth. Hour-long episodes delve into the riveting and sometimes unnerving real stories behind the movies Apocalypse Now, The Godfather, The Fugitive, Scream, Friday the 13th, Saw, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Night of the Living Dead, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Poltergeist, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Casino. The Shocking Truth is produced by Pyramid Productions.
Breaking the Band (June 2018)- Sell-out tours, chart-topping hits and runaway world domination can all mean nothing when you’re in a band on the brink of collapse. Tempers flare, arguments erupt and the sweet sound of musical success comes to an abrupt end. In hour-long episodes of Breaking the Band see the battling egos, power struggles and inter-band rivalries that split up The Beatles, The Supremes, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, The Beach Boys, N.W.A, Van Halen and Sonny and Cher. From crippling drug addictions to scandalous affairs Breaking the Band uncovers the incredible true stories by recreating the key moments the cameras missed in addition to using rare band interviews and off-stage footage to piece together each dramatic tale. Breaking the Band is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
Irreconcilable Differences (June 2018)- Breaking up is hard to do for any couple but for Hollywood’s biggest stars there is more at stake than just a broken heart. The end of a relationship for celebrities can mean huge scandals, vicious custody battles, libelous accusations that can tarnish a career and financial ruin. Irreconcilable Differences covers the contentious splits between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, Bruce Jenner and Kris Kardashian, Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, Hulk and Linda Hogan, Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Madonna and Sean Penn, Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Roseanne and Tom Arnold. With insightful commentary from legal, relationship, crisis management and entertainment experts, each hour-long episode chronicles the affairs, abuse and addictions that poisoned the headline-grabbing marriages and will uncover every step of each ugly uncoupling as family, friends and fans are forced to take sides. Irreconcilable Differences is produced by Buck Productions.
Cashed Out (June 2018)- It’s been said that if you want the truth follow the money. When a wealthy celebrity checks out there’s no shortage of people ready to cash in. Michael Jackson, Paul Newman, Prince, Muhammad Ali, George Michael, BB King, Amy Winehouse, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Robin Williams, and Johnny Carson are the focus of episodes and all have estates that both their heirs and business associates battle over. Settling huge estates also means swatting away the shady people lurking in the background of a celebrity’s life who are ready to make claims in an attempt to collect. Every hour-long episode of Cashed Out examines a celebrity’s earnings to show viewers how they earned it, how they spent it, the scandals, setbacks and people that cost them millions and what happens to the money after the celebrity is no longer in control of their fortune. Cashed Out is produced by Buck Productions.
*Both Stalker Files and It Happened Here are previously announced new series, however, their premiere dates are now in early 2018.