AMC Networks has signed talent deals with Mona Chalabi (“The Fix,” “Vagina Dispatches”), Naomi Ekperigin (“Broad City,” “Couples Therapy”), Cameron Esposito (“Queery,” “Take My Wife”) and Jena Friedman (“The Daily Show,” “Soft Focus”) to develop original true-crime series for its linear networks and streaming services, the company announced during a virtual CTAM panel Friday.
Per AMC Networks, “In keeping with its talent-drive approach to distinctive true crime content, AMC Networks will work closely with Chalabi, Ekperigin, Esposito and Friedman on programming that delivers entertaining, unexpected and progressive points of view in the true crime genre space.”
Producing partners Left/Right and World of Wonder will develop the projects, with AMC Studios distributing the true-crime series internationally.
“AMC Networks has a rich history of elevating the true crime format, presenting critically acclaimed programming made by award-winning storytellers – most notably with SundanceTV’s ‘The Preppy Murder: Death in Central Park,’ ‘Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle’ and ‘The Staircase,’ among others,” said Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks’ Entertainment Group and co-president of AMC Studios. “Mona, Naomi, Cameron and Jena each bring a unique perspective to the true crime conversation while delivering thought-provoking cultural observations and we are thrilled to collaborate with them as we continue to build upon our recent, critically acclaimed successes in this space.”
See the bios for Chalabi, Ekperigin, Esposito and Friedman below, each in AMC Networks’ own words.
Combining sharp journalism with colorful, often comical illustrations, Mona Chalabi gives unique, fake news-filtering takes on our most pressing social injustices. Her work has appeared in The Guardian US, The New Yorker, The New York Times, the Tate, The Design Museum, and many more. She has written for radio and TV, including NPR, Gimlet, The Frankie Boyle Show on the BBC, and Nat Geo’s Star Talk. In 2018, she joined the comedy panel show The Fix on Netflix as a data expert. She is also a producer, presenter, and co-creator of the Emmy-nominated video series Vagina Dispatches.
Naomi Ekperigin has her finger on the pulse of the motormouthed, pop-cultured protagonist. Named by Essence as one of eight black women ready for SNL, and a comedian to watch by Rolling Stone, her writing credits include Broad City and Search Party. She is also a correspondent on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and has been featured on 2 Dope Queens. She co-hosts the podcast Couples Therapy with her writer husband, “the show where stand-ups do sets together about their relationship.” An avid true crime fan and armchair sleuth, a savvy, fearless voice for true crime fanatics, Ekperigin’s outspoken, no-holds-barred opinions are infused into her intimate brand of comedy.
Cameron Esposito has appeared on network and cable television as well as in indie and big budget feature films. Her podcast, Queery, features interviews with LGBTQ+ luminaries including Roxanne Gay, Trixie Mattel, Evan Rachel Wood and Lena Waithe. Esposito co-created and co-starred in Take My Wife, which garnered rave reviews from The New York Times, Vanity Fair and Vulture. Her most recent special, Rape Jokes, which deals with her own sexual assault, raised nearly $100,000 for RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States. Her memoir, Save Yourself, was released earlier this year.
An alumnus of The Daily Show, Jena Friedman spent three years as a field producer for Samantha Bee, John Oliver and Michael Che. She was also a writer for The Late Show with David Letterman. Friedman’s one-woman show American C**t premiered in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and was named by Paste as one of the 10 Best Stand Up Comedy Specials of 2016. In her two-installment special, Soft Focus on Adult Swim, she fearlessly interviewed figures such as the “Cannibal Cop” and murder suspect John McAfee, offering a bold blend of feminist politics and heart-in-your-mouth edginess.