Is “Forensic Files II” a Murder in the Making?

By Gary Chapman
gchapman@lc.edu

“Forensic Files II” is a continuation of the highly successful true-crime series “Forensic Files” which started airing on Feb. 23. First, let us talk about the original for a second.

“Forensic Files” began life in 1996 as “Medical Detectives”, which aired under that title for four seasons before being renamed to “Forensic Files” when CourtTV (now TruTV) got the rights for the series. The series aired 406 episodes until it was canceled in 2011.

The show initially became popular because it aired around the time of the OJ Simpson trial, according to the show’s creator Paul Dowling. After the show ended, HLN, which had bought the rerun rights to “Forensic Files”, had used the show’s 406 episodes to fill up the time slot for their empty schedule.

In 2006, Adam Buckman stated, “12 half-hour episodes of ‘Forensic Files’ aired every day from midnight to 6 a.m., six more episodes aired from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and six more from 9 to midnight — a total of 12 hours, or 24 episodes of ‘Forensic File’ every weekday, 120 episodes in five days.”

The show later became big when FilmRise, the show’s distributor, had put it on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube and Hulu. The show had become a true-crime staple by the time that HLN announced a revival of the series.

The new show follows the same format except for one big difference, the narrator. The narrator for “Forensic Files”, Peter Thomas, died in April 2016. The new narrator, Bill Camp, does the job well, but does not have the deep voice of Thomas.

The show changed its name to distinguish the fact that this is a new show. Executive producer Nancy Duffy said, “We are telling the same kinds of stories in the same way. But in the time since they stopped production in 2011, forensics has come a long way.”

The show is airing on HLN, but it will be added to Hulu in the near future as the first season of the show has wrapped up. The show is good because it did not change the format of the show.

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