Raniere Roundup · Gibney · Ice-T

Plus "Narcos" renewed, new and returning podcasts, and more

Greetings from the Department Of Corrections! …Not that one; the one that means I biffed something. In Monday’s Kartemquin item, I mistakenly noted that the company acquired Finding Yingying last month, but in fact, per the fine folks at Kartemquin’s Twitter, “Finding Yingying is a Kartemquin Film, acquired by MTV earlier this month.” I regret the error!

And my Primetimer review of City So Real isn’t up yet, but you’ll get a sneak preview in the Around The Dial section of today’s Extra Hot Great. — SDB


Less than a week until Election Day — so how about voting on something way lower-stakes? I’m talking about the November bonus book review, of course, and right now, the top slots belong to a Capote’s-investigation book, an account of Altamont, and a judge’s criminal-justice “crimoir.” Y’all have had a good run this year; pick me another good one!

Pick my November book!


Cult leader and ruiner of volleyball’s good name Keith Raniere got 120 years in prison yesterday. NXIVM Svengali Raniere, who was convicted last year on federal charges of sex trafficking, racketeering, and possession of child porn, “maintained his defiant tone” in court yesterday, according to NBC News. Hard to believe Raniere ever had a reputation as a once-in-a-generation genius when he thought now was a good time for the old I’m Sorry You Feel That Way:

[Raniere] said he was “truly sorry” that his organization led to a place where “there is so much anger and so much pain."

“I do believe I am innocent of the charges. ... It is true I am not remorseful of the crimes I do not believe I committed at all," Raniere said.

One wonders if the $1.75 million fine Raniere also got clocked with might not have started out lower before he opened his fat yap. He hasn’t turned everyone off, however, somehow; one of Raniere’s supporters is also quoted in the NBC piece whining that Raniere didn’t receive due process, suggesting Raniere and his attorneys may not go away quietly.

The Vow isn’t going away either; HBO released an official trailer for Part II, which will follow Raniere into court, last week.

And with various NXIVM figures appearing on newsmags in the last few days — India Oxenberg on CBS This Morning; the creep himself on Dateline last weekend — as well as Starz’s take on the cult, Seduced (which The AV Club thinks is superior to The Vow, as it’s less concerned with justifying the actions of former key NXIVM figures), I think we’ve officially reached Peak NXIVM. I also think it’s time for me to dust off the old Show Down template from Previously.tv and put The Vow, Seduced, and that Lifetime movie with the Fatch head-to-head-to-head. Wish me luck… — SDB


…because I’ve got a lot on my plate true-crime-wise in the next week, starting with writing up The Murders At White House Farm for you guys. I’ll be using that task to help me avoid election coverage next week (so: thanks!), but there’s a ton of new and upcoming content I’ve got an eye on, including:

  • Alex Gibney’s Crazy, Not Insane, which premieres on HBO on November 18 at 9 PM and “profiles psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis, who has devoted her career to studying serial killers and what makes them act the way they do”;

  • The Dr. Death podcast’s second season, now in wide release;

  • Macho: The Hector Camacho Story, about the life and unsolved murder of the legendary boxer, headed to Showtime in early December;

  • Award-winning opioid-crisis doc Higher Love, coming to VOD next week;

  • Dragonfly: Brett Cantor Murder Mystery, a podcast investigation into the killing of Rose McGowan’s then boyfriend that drops November 11;

  • and Bounce’s Dying To Be Famous, on the unsolved Ryan Singleton/“Black Entourage” case, which premieres Sunday.

Slow down, true crime! We are but two ladies! …Any of you guys looking forward to these? Or are your lists just as overloaded, but with different stuff? — SDB

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But wait, there’s more! …I know!

  • Narcos: Mexico got renewed for a third season at Netflix. Diego Luna won’t appear in the new season, and a new showrunner is taking over, which may or may not affect how likely you are to sample the next go-round (Wagner Moura, who played Pablo Escobar in Famous Original Narcos, is also set to direct a couple episodes, which ditto; I for one am curious). And Netflix has had a nasty habit of un-renewing shows lately, but with episode directors already selected, you’d hope this one remains a go.

  • Ice-T, pictured above in a couple of his high-school yearbook photos (which aren’t relevant to the item, but I couldn’t keep them to myself), is expanding his true-crime-adjacent portfolio. Joining SVU and In Ice Cold Blood on the hip-hop legend’s c.v. is The Mediator with Ice-T, a weekday legal half-hour slated for March 2021 on “Fox-owned stations.” Sound like The People’s Court, but arbitration?

    Ice-T will virtually seek resolutions between two feuding civilian parties. Each side will plead their argument, providing the evidence, facts and details of the case to Ice-T, who will then call upon various well-known and knowledgeable experts to share their perspective and advice. As an unbiased and respected third party, Ice-T will offer his best recommendation for how the complainants should proceed. If they accept his suggestion, the case will be settled. If they choose not to accept, the case will move to court.

    If you had “a TV exec compares Ice-T to Yoda” on your bingo card today, congrats, because that’s happening in the Deadline piece linked above. Obviously. — SDB


We’ll watch and listen so you don’t have to! And we’ll do it anyway, but if you’d like to support our work — including defraying the costs of rentals and virtual-film-fest tickets — we’d be ever so grateful.


Thursday on Best Evidence: Whither Murder Unboxed, plus Huffman’s out.


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