JANUARY 2021 PREMIERES SPOTLIGHT GRIPPING NEW STORIES ABOUT STARS OF THE SCREEN, ROCK MUSIC LEGENDS AND TRUE CRIME VILLAINS
'Geraldo Rivera's Murder in the Family' Returns with Host Geraldo Rivera Examining the Powerful Stories of Robert Blake and Roman Polanski
'Axl Rose: Guns N' Roses Frontman' Spotlights His Infamous Appetite for Destruction While 'Aerosmith: Breaking the Band' Presents the Rise, Fall and Epic Remaking of the Legendary Band
'Story of the Songs' Delves Into the Incredible Origins of Monumental Hits From Rock Masters Eric Clapton and Sting & The Police
'Lucille Ball: Life, Death & Money' Reveals the Odd and Ugly Estate Dispute that Followed the Passing of the Trailblazing Entertainment Icon
'Affluenza Teen: The Jailhouse Sessions' Presents the Controversial Story of Ethan Couch Who Caused a Fatal Accident and His Unlikely Relationship with a Victim's Friend
'The Preppy Killer: My Friend the Murderer' Examines the Lurid Life of Prep School Criminal Robert Chambers That Led to Him Slaying an Admirer
'World's Most Evil Killers' Returns with a New Story Every Tuesday in January
(Albuquerque, NM) Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - REELZ today announced its January 2021 premieres with powerful new stories led by the return of Geraldo Rivera and original series Geraldo Rivera's Murder in the Family revealing the darkest hours in a celebrity's life losing a family member to murder. Rivera explores the tragic stories involving Robert Blake and Roman Polanski. January premieres also include new music themed specials celebrating the biggest names to ever hit the stage. Story of the Songs unveils how three of the greatest hits from Eric Clapton and Sting and The Police came to life while Axl Rose: Guns N' Roses Frontman is a wild look at the mercurial rocker and Breaking the Band is back with a two-hour special about Aerosmith and the remarkable saga of the band's breaking and remaking. New original special The Preppy Killer: My Friend the Murderer details the misdeeds of Robert Chambers whose dashing good looks, private school education and social life among New York City's young wealthy elite would compound the shock of his savage murder. Affluenza Teen: The Jailhouse Sessions focuses on entitled Texas teen Ethan Couch whose 2013 drunk driving accident took four lives including youth pastor Brian Jennings whose friend and fellow pastor Timothy Williams would visit Couch in jail 93 times in nearly two years attempting to foster reconciliation. When Lucille Ball died some of her estate went to husband Gary Morton who later remarried to pro golfer Susie McAllister. Susie put a trove of personal items from Ball's estate up for auction triggering a bitter lawsuit with Ball's heirs and it all unfolds in Lucille Ball: Life, Death & Money. Rounding out January premieres is the return of original series World's Most Evil Killers with the unsettling stories of infamous murderers "The Vampire of Sacramento" and the "Killer Cabbie" among others.
"We're thrilled to welcome back Geraldo Rivera whose deep reporting experience makes him the perfect storyteller for the heartrending stories of celebrities beset by tragedy," said Steve Cheskin, SVP of Programming at REELZ. "Adding to the network's strong lineup of music themed originals our January premieres about Eric Clapton, Sting and The Police, Axl Rose and Aerosmith crank up the action with the wild real stories of the legendary rockers."
January premieres begin with two twisted tales about privilege, power and shocking deaths. In The Preppy Killer: My Friend the Murderer on Saturday, January 2 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT Margo Manhattan shares her story of watching longtime friend Robert Chambers descend into a world of chaos ending in the murder of an innocent young woman in New York City's Central Park. Saturday, January 2 also marks the premiere of Affluenza Teen: The Jailhouse Sessions at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT about the emotional journey of pastor Timothy Williams whose friend was killed in an accident caused by then 16-year-old Ethan Couch. While Couch was vilified by the public in the aftermath of his case Williams instead chose to visit Couch in jail and build a relationship with him in an attempt to find closure. January premieres play on with two back to back music themed stories on Sunday, January 3 starting with Sting & The Police: Story of Their Songs at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT about the band's three musical maestros whose hits "Roxanne" and "Every Breath You Take" led to global stardom while "Englishman in New York" sees former frontman Sting in a solo breakout. Then at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT Eric Clapton: Story of His Songs chronicles the powerful personal stories of addiction, loss and family behind his hits "Cocaine", "Tears in Heaven" and "My Father's Eyes".
Premiering every Tuesday in January is a new World's Most Evil Killers story at 11am ET/ 8am PT starting Tuesday, January 5 with the vicious World's End Murders in Scotland carried out by Angus Sinclair. The following Tuesday, January 12 is the story of how child serial killer Robert Black evaded capture for more than a decade while Tuesday, January 19 presents the chilling account of cab driver Christopher Halliwell who preyed on his unsuspecting fares earning him the name "Killer Cabbie". Then on Tuesday, January 26 it's the ghastly story of Richard Chase known as the "Vampire of Sacramento" due to his penchant for drinking the blood of his victims.
Most people gaze upon a celebrity and see talent, privilege and material success but the real lives of celebrities are often complicated with heartbreaking misfortunes lurking in the shadows. In Geraldo Rivera's Murder in the Family host Geraldo Rivera returns with two new stories about celebrities who have experienced the murder of a loved one. On Saturday, January 23 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT it's Death by Manson: Murder in the Family Special about director Roman Polanski who endured murder in his family more than once after his mother was killed in a Nazi concentration camp and his wife actress Sharon Tate and their unborn baby were murdered by Charles Manson followers. Rivera examines the event that turned a violent unknown sociopath in Manson into a notorious paragon of evil and a household name. Immediately following is the premiere of Geraldo Rivera's Murder in the Family "Robert Blake" at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT about the bizarre murder mystery with Blake as the prime suspect in his wife Bonny Lee Bakley's death in a story riddled with twists and tragedy.
A Hollywood icon and music superstars wrap January premieres with new stories about the beloved Lucille Ball, wild Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose and storied rock band Aerosmith. Lucille Ball: Life, Death & Money premieres Monday, January 25 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT showing the bitter estate dispute that included sentimental and irreplaceable items from Ball's life and career. Then Axl Rose: Guns N' Roses Frontman premieres on Saturday, January 30 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT with a poignant look at the turbulent life of the definitive self-destructive frontman who achieved stratospheric success as a rock star but whose penchant for destroying relationships became as legendary as his electrifying stage antics. Before Guns N' Roses headlined concerts they played as special guests to Aerosmith. Aerosmith's thundering success of 25 gold and 30 platinum albums along with 21 top 20 singles including "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way" came alongside crippling additions and epic egoic infighting leading to the band's collapse and unthinkable resurrection. See their incredible story in a special two-hour Aerosmith: Breaking the Band on Sunday, January 31 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT.
Below is January 2021 programming listed by premiere date and time. Full synopses for every show follows this list.
Saturday, January 2
*NEW* The Preppy Killer: My Friend the Murderer at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
*NEW* Affluenza Teen: The Jailhouse Sessions at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT
Sunday, January 3
*NEW* Sting & The Police: Story of Their Songs at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
*NEW* Eric Clapton: Story of His Songs at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
Tuesday, January 5
*NEW* World's Most Evil Killers "Angus Sinclair" at 11am ET/ 8am PT
Tuesday, January 12
*NEW* World's Most Evil Killers "Robert Black" at 11am ET/ 8am PT
Tuesday, January 19
*NEW* World's Most Evil Killers "Killer Cabbie" at 11am ET/ 8am PT
Saturday, January 23
*NEW* Death by Manson: Murder in the Family Special at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
*NEW* Geraldo Rivera's Murder in the Family "Robert Blake" at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
Monday, January 25
*NEW* Lucille Ball: Life, Death & Money at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT
Tuesday, January 26
*NEW* World's Most Evil Killers "Vampire of Sacramento" at 11am ET/ 8am PT
Saturday, January 30
*NEW* Axl Rose: Guns N' Roses Frontman at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
Sunday, January 31
*NEW* Aerosmith: Breaking the Band at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
Below are detailed descriptions for January 2021 programming listed by premiere date and time:
The Preppy Killer: My Friend the Murderer Premieres Saturday, January 2 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. Robert Chambers seemingly had it all from his movie star looks and athletic build to prep school background and a social life at the core of New York City's wild 1980s nightlife. But on the morning of August 26, 1986 he was a murderer and stood in silence watching investigators comb over the scene of his crime as the partially clothed body of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin is discovered on the Upper East Side of Manhattan's Central Park. The subsequent investigation exposed lurid tales of his life filled with sex, crime and exclusive nightclubs details which press used to fan the flames of the scandal and shed light on his troublesome lifestyle. When the 19-year-old Chambers becomes the chief suspect he claims Levin wanted "rough sex" and blames her for her own death. The sensational 1986 tabloid story of affluent teens from New York City's private prep schools becomes known as the "preppie murder." Sharing her experience of being a close friend to Chambers is Margo Manhattan who witnessed the start and escalation of his wayward path from stealing electronics, clothes and cars along with heavy drug use and binge drinking but even his destructive behavior could not hint at how dangerous and dark Chambers would become. As one of the first to examine the crime scene former NYPD detective Mike Sheehan shares his experience with the case along with former prosecutor Thomas Kendris who details the shocking defense used by the Chambers legal team. The Preppy Killer: My Friend the Murderer is produced by AMS Pictures.
Affluenza Teen: The Jailhouse Sessions Premieres Saturday, January 2 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT. Ethan Couch is the privileged Texas teen who became infamous for killing four people in a drunk driving accident in 2013. Instead of jail the 16-year-old Couch only received probation after his attorneys used a controversial defense arguing he suffered from 'affluenza' a condition in which they claim he was unable to discern right from wrong due to his privileged upbringing. The media scorn and public outrage only intensified after a leaked video appeared to show Couch violating his probation drinking at a party. The move landed him in more legal trouble and led to him fleeing the country making him an international fugitive before authorities caught up with him in Mexico. Youth Pastor Brian Jennings was one of the victims killed in the crash that left his best friend Timothy Williams heartbroken. Williams would make a bold move to meet with Couch in jail and wound up visiting him a total of 93 times over a nearly two year period to discuss the case, lessons learned and forgiveness. Sharing his experience as an attorney who represented Couch victims Greg Coontz discusses the case while Fort Worth Star Telegram reporter Bud Kennedy and D Magazine writer Michael J. Mooney reflect on the uproarious public response after it became known Couch wouldn't serve a day behind bars for causing the crash. Affluenza Teen: The Jailhouse Sessions is produced by AMS Pictures.
Sting & The Police: Story of Their Songs Premieres Sunday, January 3 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. See the fascinating stories behind the three songs that made Sting and The Police global superstars with insight from the producers, back-up singers, photographers, journalists and biographers who watched it happen. At first the three musical maestros Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland struggled to convince audiences of their authenticity before their single "Roxanne" became a huge musical breakthrough. From there The Police's massive hit "Every Breath You Take" with its dark themes of surveillance, obsession and stalking inspired by the breakdown of Sting's marriage and took the band to staggering new levels of popularity. The song's producer Hugh Padgham describes how the recording session was set against a backdrop of infighting and professional jealousy among the band. Upon its release the song becomes an instant classic and turned the bandmates into international stars. But just at the peak of their powers tensions within the band reach a breaking point and Sting shocks the world by going solo setting out to prove that with creative freedom he can be just as successful. He teams up with Grammy Award(R) winning producer Neil Dorfsman and together they fuse reggae and jazz for hit single "Englishman in New York" and its international success secures Sting's prowess as a remarkable solo artists. Relive the moments that made The Police an unforgettable band and helped keep Sting as a solo artist at the top for more than 40 years. Sting & The Police: Story of Their Songs is produced by ViacomCBS International Studios UK.
Eric Clapton: Story of His Songs Premieres Sunday, January 3 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. Explore the three songs that showcase the musical genius of Eric Clapton. Hear from Clapton's touring band members, session musicians and producers who were in studio during the recording sessions along with the photographers, journalists and industry experts who witnessed it all. In his 1977 hit "Cocaine" Clapton confronted his addiction to the drug head-on while providing a stark warning about its dangers. Illuminating the depths of that addition is touring bandmate Marcella Detroit who recalls one particularly hedonistic tour with Clapton that was fraught with excess and overindulgence. The 1990s saw Clapton dealing with unimaginable tragedy after a horrific accident resulted in the sudden loss of his four year old son. Seeking healing and comfort through the power of music he pens the tender tribute "Tears in Heaven". Back-up singer Tessa Niles and renowned bassist Nathan East share their intimate memories of helping Clapton work through his grief culminating in Unplugged which became one of the best-selling live albums of all time. Confronting his troubled childhood the song "My Father's Eyes" reveals the sad truth behind Clapton's own relationship with his father and the feeling of looking into his son's eyes and seeing his father's eyes. Acclaimed producer Simon Climie reveals his complete reimagining and radical reshaping of the track securing Clapton yet another Grammy Award(R) win. Reliving the key moments that made the songs see Clapton go from cult blues hero to becoming one of most influential and celebrated guitarists and songwriters of all time. Eric Clapton: Story of His Songs is produced by ViacomCBS International Studios UK.
World's Most Evil Killers "Angus Sinclair" Premieres Tuesday, January 5 at 11am ET/ 8am PT. The World's End Murders is the colloquial name given to the October 1977 murder of two teenage girls in Edinburgh Scotland. The case is so named because both victims were last seen alive leaving the World's End Pub in Edinburgh's Old Town. The only living person to stand trial accused of the murders is Angus Sinclair who was acquitted in 2007 under controversial circumstances. Following the amendment of the law of double jeopardy which would have prevented his retrial Sinclair was re-tried in October 2014 and convicted of both murders. He was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 37 years meaning he would be 106 years old before he could be considered for parole. World's Most Evil Killers is produced by Woodcut Media Ltd.
World's Most Evil Killers "Robert Black" Premieres on Tuesday, January 12 at 11am ET/ 8am PT. Scottish serial killer Robert Black attacked four young girls aged five to 11 between 1981 and 1986 as he worked as a truck driver. Sentenced to life imprisonment at in Northern Ireland with a minimum of 35 years Black has been linked to 13 other child murders and abductions across the UK, Ireland and Europe but died of a heart attack on January 12, 2016 as he was about to be charged with the murder of a fifth young girl. The true scale of his heinous crimes may never be known. World's Most Evil Killers is produced by Woodcut Media Ltd.
World's Most Evil Killers "Killer Cabbie" Premieres on Tuesday, January 19 at 11am ET/ 8am PT. Taxi driver and former burglar Christopher Halliwell lived with his partner Heather Widdowson and her three daughters in a suburban house in Swindon England but the respectable family man had a darker side and was regularly paying for prostitutes. At 22 years of age Sian O'Callaghan was abducted and stabbed in the neck by Halliwell as she made her way home from a night out in Swindon in the early hours of March 19, 2011. Halliwell was arrested five days later after a security camera showed O'Callaghan getting in his green Toyota Avensis taxi outside of a nightclub. He confessed to killing her and took police to her body. He was jailed for life for her murder. After he was arrested for killing O'Callaghan Halliwell revealed to detectives more of his crimes and led them to where he had buried Becky Godden who had disappeared from Swindon in 2003. World's Most Evil Killers is produced by Woodcut Media Ltd.
Death by Manson: Murder in the Family Special Premieres Saturday, January 23 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. Roman Polanski spends his childhood dodging the Nazis in Poland during WWII and in the process he loses his mother to their horrific gas chambers while his father languishes in concentration camps. After the war he channels his childhood pain into visual masterpiece movies and becomes one of the most sought-after directors of the 1960s. In 1967 he meets and falls in love with actress Sharon Tate and they embark on a life together. But in a dark twist of fate Tate and three family friends fall victim to Charles Manson's cadre of demon followers in crimes that are possibly the most notorious killings in American history. How does Polanski cope with these unspeakable murders in the family? And how and why did Polanski's life with Tate become twisted into the infamous Manson and his campaign of evil? Death by Manson: Murder in the Family Special is produced by Flying Scoop M&E.
Geraldo Rivera's Murder in the Family "Robert Blake" Premieres Saturday, January 23 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. Robert Blake was the ruggedly handsome actor who spent nearly his entire life in front of the camera. As a child he starred in Little Rascals and grew up to have a breakout role in the movie In Cold Blood and later his work on police show Baretta made him household name in 1970s. But Blake may go down in Hollywood history for something much more sinister in his connection to a murder in the family. On May 4, 2001 Hollywood and the nation are rocked by the news that Bonny Lee Bakley the newlywed wife of Blake is shot to death outside a neighborhood Italian restaurant in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Bakley was a serial grifter known to have a long rap sheet and reportedly left a wake of men behind her including the son of Marlon Brando who all claimed to be lured in by her charms and fleeced of their money. One year after Bakley's murder Blake is arrested. But the evidence is flimsy and circumstantial. On the night of Bakley's death Blake was a well-loved entertainer, a regular on the talk show circuit and Emmy Award(R) winner but that reputation is suddenly shattered. Did Blake hire a hitman to kill Bakley as prosecutors alleged? Was she as some claimed desperate to a part of the glamorous part of Hollywood no matter the cost? Or was she simply in the wrong place at the wrong time vulnerable late at night in a parking lot? Geraldo Rivera's Murder in the Family is produced by Flying Scoop M&E.
Lucille Ball: Life, Death & Money Premieres Monday, January 25 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT. Legendary star Lucille Ball is known as one of the greatest comedians of all time. On the air for six seasons she cemented her iconic status in I Love Lucy where she and first husband Desi Arnaz pulled in astronomical ratings. It's also here that Ball forged her way to becoming a leading lady off screen as executive producer later launching mega movie and TV franchises including Star Trek and Mission Impossible. When she passes away in 1989 her sizable estate of $40 million is split among her two children and second husband Gary Morton. Unlike many celebrities Ball left behind a will and testament but even with one so clearly written her estate becomes entangled and bitter. After her death Morton remarries pro golfer Susie McAllister. He then suddenly passes away leaving behind a number of Ball's highly personal and sentimental items to Susie. Knowing their value Susie decides to put these items up for auction looking to fetch hefty amounts. This is when a full out estate war erupts between her and Ball's children. Together the Arnaz siblings fight to get back the precious items including jewelry, lifetime achievement awards and love letters. But would mismanagement see these priceless items be lost forever? Lucille Ball: Life, Death & Money is produced by Buck Productions.
World's Most Evil Killers "Vampire of Sacramento" Premieres on Tuesday, January 26 at 11am ET/ 8am PT. Richard Trenton Chase was an American serial killer who brutally murdered six people within a month in the late 1970s in California. Chase was given the nickname "Vampire of Sacramento" because he drank the blood from his some of his victims. From a young age he would torture and kill animals before drinking their blood. His first victim was a random innocent woman who Chase shot in a drive by shooting. His second victim was an expectant 22-year-old mother who he shot then mutilated her body and then drank her blood. He would claim four victims in horrific fashion before finally being arrested and in May 1978. Chase was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death but he would take his own life before capital punishment. Hear from those who worked on the case including former detective lieutenant Ray Biondi who led the murder case, former detective Bill Roberts and former deputy district attorney Albert Locher. World's Most Evil Killers is produced by Woodcut Media Ltd.
Axl Rose: Guns N' Roses Frontman Premieres Sunday, January 30 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. Lead singer of Guns N' Roses Axl Rose famous for hits including "Paradise City" and "Sweet Child O' Mine" is one of the most unpredictable rock stars of all time whose obsession for detail in making music was only rivaled by his extreme volatility on and off stage. At the height of his fame he systematically went about destroying everything around him from the band itself, his relationships and even himself. But why? In this seminal two hour biography of the legendary artist some of those who knew him the best share their experience living and working with Rose. Discover the tortured life of the popular frontman damaged early by his strict, abusive upbringing and who suffered from manic depression coupled with an immense talent that he didn't know how to control. Rose seemed to bask in chaos and controversy alienating everyone around him before disappearing from public view for 10 years. When he finally emerged and reunited with Guns 'N' Roses he was almost unrecognizable his demons seemingly vanquished and finally at peace with himself. This is the incredible story of Axl Rose as told by people who shared in his journey including teenage friend Monica Gregory, early Guns N' Roses manager Vicky Hamilton, tour manager John Reese, journalist and biographer Mick Wall and Tom Zutaut who was an A&R executive Geffen Records along with Doug Goldstein who managed Rose from 1987- 2004. Axl Rose: Guns N' Roses Frontman is produced by Honey Bee.
Aerosmith: Breaking the Band Premieres Sunday, January 31 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. With more than 150 million records sold in a career spanning a staggering 50 years Aerosmith has truly earned its title as one of the greatest rock bands ever. Formed in 1970 the "Bad Boys from Boston" as they were known soon became notorious for their raucous live performances and wild off-stage antics. They built their reputation with a blues infused hard-rock take on their 1960s heroes The Rolling Stones. The early success of Aerosmith was built around the talents of rock idol frontman Steven Tyler and guitar legend Joe Perry whose love-hate relationship and notorious drug abuse led to their nickname of the toxic twins. The band's collective vices would end in disaster and halt their first era when in 1979 Perry walked away from the band. Both Perry and the remaining members of Aerosmith spent years in their own figurative wildernesses, drug addicted and spending money they didn't have and it appeared as though promising careers had been cut short. But in a remarkable and unprecedented turn around the band reunited in 1984 staging one of the most unlikely comebacks in music history. Indeed the second iteration of Aerosmith rose to even greater heights in the 1980s and 1990s as the band captured the spirit of the MTV generation and moved beyond America to worldwide superstardom. In this special two-hour Breaking the Band see the inside story of Aerosmith as told by those who were there including a rare interview with the man behind their 1980s resurrection in former manager Tim Collins whose tenure ended in bitter acrimony. This is the remarkable story of how the band survived 50 years of every form of stereotypical rock band excess. Aerosmith: Breaking the Band is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
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