Soledad O’Brien Brings Journalism Chops to Oxygen’s Upcoming True Crime Series

“What makes a mystery really work is a good storyteller unwinding a story in a way that an audience finds compelling,” O’Brien tells TheWrap

Soledad O'Brien
Soledad O'Brien

Multiple Emmy and Peabody Award winner Soledad O’Brien will host and serve as executive producer on “Mysteries and Scandals,” a new investigative series on the Oxygen network where she puts her journalism roots to use in the true-crime genre.

“I’m so excited about it,” O’Brien told TheWrap. “What makes a mystery really work is a good storyteller unwinding a story in a way that an audience finds compelling.”

The new true crime series will explore Hollywood’s most infamous criminals, murders and cases of corruption with all the juicy details young viewers have come to expect from the genre. Oxygen is in the midst of a major rebrand, banking on true crime and a diverse, contemporary audience that demands context and credibility.

Lucky for Oxygen, O’Brien won’t allow her show to be sensationalized or a stripped-down version of true crime that often fails on other networks. She considers herself a journalists first and wants to help change the image of Oxygen as a network.

“When Oxygen talked to me about this rebranding… I was excited to not just be part of the show but part of the network’s new strategy, too,” she said.

True crime content is extremely hot these days and O’Brien says Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” and the hit podcast “Serial” are examples of the numerous mediums in which people consume the popular genre.

“I think there is a huge audience, as long as it’s told well,” she said. “If the weaving of the tale is done well, it’s amazing… genius when done on a good platform in an interesting way.”

The former CNN anchor is busy these days, serving as CEO of Starfish Media Group and hosting the syndicated Sunday show “Matter of Fact,” while appearing on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” “PBS NewsHour” and a variety of other news programs on a regular basis.

“At the end of the day, every single job or every single opportunity I take is interesting to me. Am I given an opportunity to do good work? That’s literally how I judge,” O’Brien said.

A premiere date for “Mysteries and Scandals” has not yet been announced.