BuzzFeed has hinted at its long-form aspirations for years, and now, some of its plans in that area are taking shape. The media company’s latest project, as first noted by the Wall Street Journal, is a partnership with NBCUniversal’s Wilshere Studios that will yield a true-crime TV show based off a series of BuzzFeed investigative journalism pieces.
The as-of-yet untitled series will examine the story of Jessica Chambers, a Mississippi teen whose 2014 murder by burning remains unsolved. The details of that case have been dutifully compiled by BuzzFeed reporters like Katie J.M. Baker, who have written numerous stories about Chambers over the past few years.
BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal are close partners thanks to the latter company’s two massive investments in the former. “Jessica’s heartbreaking story continues to spark tremendous public interest largely due to the groundbreaking reporting by BuzzFeed News,” said Dawn Wilshere, EVP of Development at Wilshere Studios. “We look forward to re-examining this very gruesome and controversial murder through [executive producer] Joe Berlinger’s creative lens, and bringing to life his unparalleled vision in the true crime documentary genre.”
BuzzFeed has already started to launch some long-form shows, but what makes this newest project particularly interesting is the way it marries BuzzFeed’s news and entertainment divisions, which split from each other last year. By returning to the company’s roots, BuzzFeed’s entertainment side has found a compelling program that should fit nicely next to Making a Murderer and Serial in the world of true-crime content.
The forthcoming show’s release date and distribution strategy are not yet known.