Finally! A true crime show I don’t want to watch (but maybe you do)! Yesterday, I talked about former O.J. Simpson prosecutor and author Marcia Clark’s new investigative series, taking on some of the nation’s most infamous murder cases. Well, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Marcia should consider herself flattered.
Last night, A&E debuted not only Marcia Clark Investigates the First 48 Hours but also Grace vs. Abrams, a new televised legal debate between analysts Nancy Grace and Dan Abrams. The premise of the show sounds a bit familiar, as Nancy and Dan discuss high-profile cases including Robert Blake, Chandra Levy and Drew Peterson. The first episode dealt with the Casey Anthony case. Really? They couldn’t have moved their schedule around a bit? Three hours covering that case is a lot for one night, don’t you think?
As for Grace vs. Abrams, which was given a six-episode trial run, the commentators are adamant that this isn’t just another round of “squeaking heads” screaming to get their opinions heard. This despite the fact that Dan and Grace have had some heated encounters on Good Morning America, including an intense debate over kayaks. They’ve also butted heads over other cases in the past, including the murder case against Jodi Arias.
Dan promises that this new show, which is shot in front of a live audience, will be different, telling PEOPLE that, “The problem with some of these debate shows is they feel staged. It’s the prosecution versus the defense. That’s not the way Nancy and I are taking this. We’re being very honest about our opinions, about these cases.” He added that their squabbling will make for “conflict magic” to inform and entertain their audience, concluding, “Is this going to be Nancy and Dan getting mad at each other over a story that everyone already knows? The answer is no. We’re debating new developments.”
And, if you still think this show may be thumping upon a deceased equine, the show promises interviews with key players who have never been heard from before as well as exclusive clips and footage. One person who has kept mum until now is the second wife of Drew Peterson, whom Dan said is “super compelling.”
The pre-show interviews with both participants were packed with mutual admiration. Grace admitted that “Dan has an excellent legal mind paired with a charismatic on-air persona. That’s a great combination.” Dan said of Nancy, “She’s really quick-witted, which makes her really good. And it’s fair to say that Nancy probably insults me more than I insult Nancy. She pulls the zingers out!” Here’s a zinger she threw out about working in the same studio as Dan, “It’s a lot more exciting to be sitting next to him. My fingers are now dangerously close to his neck.” Bazinga. Yeah…okay….
As much as I’m a true crime buff, I can’t get into this show, probably because I am not a Nancy Grace fan. I also believe “conflict magic” is just Nancy trying to yell over Dan at every opportunity she gets, and that’s not magic in my book. I’m also curious if both shows are going to continue to take on the same case on the same night. That’s kind of information overload as far as I’m concerned. But, playing devil’s advocate, if either one of these shows can achieve any sort of justice for the victims, I’d definitely encourage more of these types of programs.
Photos: Getty Images, WENN.com