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Exclusive: 'Crime Watch Daily' Renewed for Season 3 - Broadcasting & Cable

Exclusive: 'Crime Watch Daily' Renewed for Season 3

Additions of Chris Hansen, Elizabeth Smart helping show grow its ratings
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Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen has been renewed for a third season, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution confirmed Wednesday.

“As we have continued to evolve Crime Watch Daily and brought on Chris Hansen, our faith in the concept has been rewarded by positive ratings momentum. We are thrilled our partner stations agree and have renewed the series for a third season,” said Ken Werner, president, WBDTD.

Crime Watch Daily premiered September 2015 and was sold to Tribune Broadcasting as both the launch group and a partner on the show. It premiered at a 0.8 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. This season, when the show added Hansen of Dateline’s "To Catch a Predator" fame and moved to the streets of New York City, its ratings jumped to a 1.0 household rating season to date, up 20%. The show also is up 23% among young women aged 18-34.

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“We definitely have seen an uptick with Chris Hansen, and putting the show on the street felt more day and date,” says Sean Compton, president of strategic programming and acquisitions for Tribune Media. “[Senior Executive Producer] Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey put a lot of fresh ideas in there. I can’t say enough great things about her and her team and what they’ve done.”

Hansen has revived his “predator” segments for the show, calling them “Hansen vs. Predator.”

“It’s a ton of work and it’s a lot of moving parts but I’ve got the team who can do it,” says Hansen. “We’re ready to go out and do the next one.”

As a whole, Crime Watch Daily has added more “ambush” elements to the show, says Gregorisch-Dempsey.

“One thing we are doing is taking our ambushes to another level,” she says. “If you see [correspondent] Jason Mattera and Chris Hansen coming at you, you run the other way. That’s not a good day for a criminal.”

With Hansen on board the show has landed exclusive interviews with the father of murdered Queens jogger Karina Vetrano, and with Pat Comunale, father of Hofstra graduate Joey Comunale who was stabbed to death and then thrown in a shallow grave.

“Because of Chris’ name and his stature. he’s landed some big exclusives,” says Executive Producer Jeremy Spiegel.

Executive Producer Scott Eldridge says the addition of Elizabeth Smart — who was abducted, held and sexually assaulted as a teenager — also has boosted the show.

“Elizabeth Smart is establishing herself as a stand-out storyteller,” he says. “In the most organic way, she’s the most in-demand and requested talent on our show. We’ve seen how victims nationwide reach out to her wanting her to tell their stories.”

“What blows me away about Elizabeth is when you hear the in-depth story and the depraved actions of these animals who held her and sexually assaulted her, you think most people would crawl under a blanket and never come out,” says Hansen, who did a profile of Smart earlier this season. “But because of her faith and her family, she has emerged from this as a tremendous human being and as a woman who is a true victims' advocate. It’s amazing to me, it’s a miracle to me, to see her living the life she lives today. We’re very fortunate to have her as part of the show.”

Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen airs in syndication across the country and on Tribune-owned stations in top markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

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