‘In Cold Blood’ Crime to be Explored in Sundance TV Documentary Series

Daniel Holloway

Sundance TV has ordered “Murder in the Heartland: In Cold Blood Revisited,” a four-part documentary series exploring the infamous crime at the center of Truman Capote’s book “In Cold Blood.”

Produced and directed by Academy Award nominee Joe Berlinger, the series will investigate the 1959 murder of a small-town Kansas family and the subsequent convictions and executions of Perry Smith and Richard Hickock.

“Joe Berlinger has created a framework to explore this story that has as much to do with the cultural impact of the crime as it does the crime itself. It was not just a family and a community that was ripped apart, it was a seminal moment in post-war America that set the tone for what was to come,” said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV. “His vision for this SundanceTV event series gets at the idea that crime, in and of itself, is rarely the most interesting piece. The impact comes from exploring the broader story, and what a crime says about the culture, and how it shapes that culture moving forward.”

The series is being produced by AMC Studios, RadicalMedia and Third Eye Motion Picture Company production. Berlinger is best known for his films “Brother’s Keeper,” “Paradise Lost Trilogy” and “Whitey:  United States of America vs. James J. Bulger.”

“I have long been obsessed with Capote’s genre-busting masterwork, but even more fascinated by the underlying crime and its impact on the American psyche,” said Berlinger, who has been developing the project with AMC Studios for more than a year. “The opportunity to explore my obsession, in light of new information we have uncovered, with a network and brand that I have long been associated with and which represents cinematic quality at its most intelligent is a dream situation for a nonfiction filmmaker of my background.”

Sundance TV has also acquired the rights to the 1967 film “In Cold Blood,” starring Robert Blake.

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