Beverly Hills, Calif. — Warner Bros.' syndicated experiment Crime Watch Daily elbowed its way into TCA summer press tour with a panel and reception Wednesday, promising to bring something wholly unique to daytime TV.
"For a long time, America's Most Wanted was the headquarters for coverage of crime. There is no show like that on the air right now," said Jeremy Spiegel, the show's executive producer. "We're going to engage viewers and citizen detectives in a completely different way."
Debuting Sept. 14, the afternoon strip will take material generated by stations — the show was acquired by Tribune last fall — and expand upon them with deeper resources. On board is a corps of producers with network experience, who will have the time and budget to bring local stories to a national stage. Spiegel said the show is already fielding several calls a day from stations who see national potential in what they are airing in their local markets.
The show's unofficial tagline, according to host Matt Doran, is "murders, mysteries and drama." Elaborated creator and executive producer Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey, "It's a mesh of all your favorite crime shows."
The show's promo reel, which played before the panel, offered a cross-section of stories both lurid and gumshoe. Some, like a report on Uber's driver background checks, were old-fashioned consumer protection enterprise. Others, such as sit-downs with killers and survivors, had a distinctly tabloid flavor, complete with booming voice-over.
Many Tribune stations plan to air the show at 4 p.m. as a local news lead-in. At June's Promax BDA Station Summit in Las Vegas, about 20 news directors were brought together by the show's backers to gauge their feedback. "They were blown away," Gregorisch-Dempsey said. "It feels to us to be a new genre," Doran added. "People may not be used to it. It's not formulaic. It's not long-form. But it gives you the story behind the story."