Press release from Reelz, Wednesday, April 17:
REELZ today announced new original programming for May 2019 including two new documentaries, new specials and a new series. The documentaries are led by Cher: Do You Believe? celebrating the pop culture icon who redefined celebrity with her award winning work in music, movies and TV. At the far opposite end of the celebrity spectrum is the infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer whose decent into chaos is chronicled in the two-part documentary Jeffrey Dahmer: Killer Cannibal. In new The Real Story of… specials the true stories behind blockbuster movies take center stage with behind the scenes looks at Lone Survivor, American Made, Boston Strangler and many more. And finally Deborah Norville reveals the untold stories behind headline grabbing criminals and examines the lasting impact they have on movies, TV shows and pop culture in new series Executed with Deborah Norville.
“We’re excited for our viewers to see new original programming that shows the many different sides of celebrity,” said Steve Cheskin, SVP of Programming at REELZ. “From an insightful look at Cher’s stellar 50 year career in TV, music and movies to a two night journey into the twisted world of Jeffrey Dahmer our new series and specials showcase the powerful real life stories behind Hollywood stars, blockbuster movies and deadly criminals.”
Below are descriptions for May 2019 programming listed in order of premiere date and time:
Cher: Do You Believe? (New documentary premieres Sunday, May 5 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT)
She’s been at the top of her game for more than 50 years but it’s been a constant battle. Cher has sold more than 100 million albums and won hundreds of awards including an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and three Golden Globes but her rise to the top was riddled with difficulties. Cher: Do You Believe? shows viewers the remarkable journey of the woman known as the Goddess of Pop who in her own words talks about the pivotal moments in her life and reflects on her rough childhood and how she learned to shake off the crippling insecurities that nearly derailed her career. Using dramatic reconstructions, intimate archive footage and first-hand accounts from those close to her, Cher: Do You Believe? is the inside story of Cher’s life with interviews from Sally Kirkland, biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, friend and record producer Bob Dickins, hairdresser Gary Chowen, backup singer and friend Darlene Love who all share their personal experiences with the superstar singer, actress and pop culture icon. Cher: Do You Believe? is produced by ITV.
The Real Story of… (New specials premiere Saturday, May 11 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT)
In 2009 armed pirates hijacked the cargo ship Maersk Alabama off the Somali coast. Hollywood would give audiences a riveting look at the hijacking in the movie Captain Phillips with its hero ship commander Captain Phillips played by Tom Hanks. But the real story is the desperate struggle of another man aboard the Maersk Alabama. Below deck Chief Engineer Mike Perry disables the ship and works to save the crew. His critical fight back leads to the capture of the pirate leader setting up a crucial bargaining chip in the negotiations to get the pirates off the ship. In new The Real Story of… specials the true stories like that behind the Oscar nominated Captain Phillips are revealed. Each special focuses on the real life stories that inspired the movies American Gangster, Selena, Argo, 13 Hours, Boston Strangler and American Made among others. The specials separate fact from fiction showing viewers that what really happened is more intriguing and more thrilling than what ever made it to the big screen. Specials include interviews with the real people behind the extraordinary events brought to life with dramatic reconstructions and archive footage of the actual events. The Real Story of… specials are produced by World Media Rights.
Jeffrey Dahmer: Killer Cannibal (New two-part documentary premieres Sunday, May 19 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT and part 2 premieres Monday, May 20 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT)
From a happy and healthy little boy to becoming a murderous serial killer see Jeffrey Dahmer’s disturbing real story unfold in Jeffrey Dahmer: Killer Cannibal. The documentary chronicles one of the most shocking cases of a person descending into chaos and committing atrocious acts of depravity. From his combative parents, issues of abandonment and alcoholism all at a young age to his obsession with experimenting on dead animals and deeply taboo sexual urges Dahmer went on to commit his first murder at just 18 years old. He would go on to create a chamber of horrors inside his infamous #213 apartment in Milwaukee, WI where he’d take his first bite of human flesh and claim several more victims. Neighbors would hear strange noises and smell awful stenches with no idea of the unspeakable horrors going on inside Dahmer’s modest apartment. Hear from his former neighbor Pamela Bass who shares her first-hand account of befriending the oddball Dahmer only to grow weary of his strange behavior and later learn of his heinous crimes. Viewers will also hear from psychologists Dr. Fred Berlin and Dr. Sherry Ginn along with crime writer Shirley Lynn Scott who shed light on why the fascination surrounding this real life horror story persists in culture via movies and TV shows. Jeffrey Dahmer: Killer Cannibal is produced by Hoff Productions.
Executed with Deborah Norville (New series premieres Tuesday, May 21 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT)
Host Deborah Norville peels back the cover on some of the most ghastly real life crime sprees and criminals in modern history where capital punishment was the final answer. Norville shows viewers the untold stories behind the headline grabbing events and examines the lasting impact and aftermath of the crimes via movies, TV shows and pop culture. In hour-long episodes Norville breaks down the terrifying real stories of D.C. Sniper John Allen Muhammad, Gary Gilmore, Clarence Ray Allen, Aileen Wuornos, Karla Faye Tucker and Stanley “Tookie” Williams. In addition to interviews with those intimately connected to the story viewers will also see dramatic recreations, raw news footage and police interrogations. Executed with Deborah Norville is produced by Scott Sternberg Productions and Simplistics, Inc. Sternberg and Norville serve as Executive Producers.