MGM+ Greenlights True-Crime Docuseries "The Wonderland Murders & The Secret History of Hollywood"
Based on the hit Audible exclusive podcast by Michael Connelly (Bosch; The Lincoln Lawyer) and directed by Alison Ellwood (San Francisco Sounds, Laurel Canyon) the four-part docuseries will delve into the infamous 1980s Los Angeles mass murder
LOS ANGELES - November 7, 2023 - MGM+, a premium linear channel and streaming service, today announced it has greenlit the true-crime docuseries The Wonderland Murders & The Secret History of Hollywood (working title), based on Michael Connelly's (Bosch; The Lincoln Lawyer) hit Audible podcast of the same name. Directed by Alison Ellwood (San Francisco Sounds, Laurel Canyon), the four-episode docuseries will be the definitive examination of the infamous Wonderland murder case in 1980s Los Angeles. The Wonderland Murders & the Secret History of Hollywood was released exclusively on Audible as a limited documentary podcast series and audiences have spent 150,000 hours listening to Connelly's riveting investigation.
On July 1, 1981, four people were discovered severely beaten to death in a suburban home in Laurel Canyon on Wonderland Avenue. The murders' aftermath spans two decades and reaches into present day with details, subplots, and investigative twists that prove the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction. From a bought-off juror to the biggest porn actor of his generation, an alleged corrupt federal agent and a kind of Zelig of Hollywood's dark underbelly, much about the case remains unresolved, and there are people who got away with murder.
Through explosive in-depth reporting, new developments, rare archival footage, and pivotal testimony from "missing witness" Scott Thorson (best known as Liberace's boyfriend and the writer of the tell-all Behind the Candelabra), Wonderland Murders will delve into the gruesome crime that has captured the public's imagination for nearly half a century, and tell a broader story about Los Angeles, the American dream, and when justice does - and doesn't - work.
"Wonderland Murders joins MGM+'s growing stable of smart, insightful, and thought-provoking true-crime docuseries," said Michael Wright, head of MGM+. "Michael Connelly is a renowned and tenacious crime writer, and Alison Ellwood is a visionary director, so there is no better team to explore one of Hollywood's most notorious crimes."
"I love Alison's work and look forward to working with her and MGM+," said Michael Connelly. "The Wonderland murders left an indelible impact on Hollywood, and exploring it with the original detectives and witnesses is exciting, and is going to help us answer many of the questions that are still out there."
"Michael has curated an exceptional slate at MGM+, and we are thrilled Wonderland Murders will be in such illustrious company," said Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman, heads of Sony Pictures Television's The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC). "Alison is a filmmaker IPC has been chasing for years, and we feel incredibly fortunate we finally get to collaborate. Her take on Michael Connelly's groundbreaking reporting will undoubtedly yield one the best true crime documentaries of the year."
"It's been one of the thrills of our professional lives to have worked with Michael Connelly over these past few years on the Wonderland podcast and now on the doc series," said Jen Casey and Nick Gilhool. "And for the documentary adaptation to be led by Alison Ellwood, the consummate filmmaker, at a home like MGM+, with Michael Wright and Jill Burkhart, two of the best execs in the business, along with veteran storytellers Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman, and not to mention Rick Jackson with his inimitable expertise and access. We couldn't imagine a greater team to usher this bigger-than-life story to the screen."
"The Wonderland Murders has all the qualities of a page-turning thriller that fans expect from Michael Connelly's novels, except that it's also a true story," said Rachel Ghiazza, Chief Content Officer at Audible. "We could not be more excited to see this unforgettable and incredibly well-told story come to life in a new format with the support of our Amazon colleagues at MGM+."
The series is produced by Sony Pictures Television's The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC) and Miziker Content, and executive produced by Michael Connelly, Alison Ellwood, Jen Casey and Nick Gilhool, Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman for IPC, and Rick Jackson.
About Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly is a genre-defining writer who has sold over 85 million books worldwide. But before creating beloved characters that spawned popular movies and TV series such as Bosch and The Lincoln Lawyer, he was a crime beat reporter at The Los Angeles Times. While there, talk of the Wonderland case was a contagious buzz through the newsroom, and he caught the bug. He followed the case closely then, and in the decades since, hasn't been able to shake his fascination. Connelly dropped everything to return to his journalistic roots when his best friend (and model for his Harry Bosch character), Rick Jackson, called him in 2020 with news that the last witness to the Wonderland case resurfaced. The result has been a yearslong investigation, a No. 1 hit podcast, and a period of relationship building for Connelly with the major players, including that witness. Just like his most popular character Harry Bosch, Connelly returns again and again to the facts of the case. He has spent the last three years uncovering evidence, and it all comes back to one slippery character, Jackson's source, Scott Thorson. In this series, Connelly serves as our guide, revealing the secrets of Hollywood - all through the entry point of the Wonderland Murders.
About The Intellectual Property Corporation
The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC), a part of Sony Pictures Television, is an Emmy-winning content creation and production studio based in Van Nuys, California. Founded in 2016 by Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman, IPC develops and produces premium television, film, documentary, commercial, and interactive mobile content for global streamers and U.S. broadcast and cable networks. Recent productions include Indian Matchmaking and Night Stalker (Netflix); Secrets of Playboy (A&E); Selena + Chef (Max & Food Network) and The Climb (Max); We're Here and The Swamp (HBO); This Is Paris (YouTube Originals); The Last Narc (Amazon); Empires of New York (CNBC); and Death in the Dorms and The Con (ABC). IPC is a two-time Emmy Award recipient and a Producers Guild Award recipient for its series Leah Remini: Scientology & the Aftermath (A&E).
Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, offering global audiences a powerful way to enhance and enrich their lives through extraordinary content. Audible's catalog includes more than 850,000 audio titles, including Audible Originals as well as audiobooks and podcasts from leading studios, print, audio and magazine publishers and world-renowned entertainers.
MGM+, an Amazon company, is a premium linear channel and streaming service delivering a broad lineup of quality original series and docuseries, the latest movie releases, and classic film franchises - all available in the U.S. on TV, on-demand, online, and across devices. MGM+ is a destination for original premium content, with original series including sci-fi horror series FROM; Emmy-winning series Godfather of Harlem; the Western adventure Billy the Kid; and cinematic dramatic and limited series including The Winter King,Beacon 23, A Spy Among Friends, War of the Worlds, Rogue Heroes, and Belgravia. The network is also the home of acclaimed docuseries, including Emmy-nominated Laurel Canyon, My Life as a Rolling Stone, NFL Icons, and San Francisco Sounds: A Place in Time. Premium movies are also available, including Top Gun: Maverick, No Time to Die, Creed 3, House of Gucci, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Till, and Smile.
With thousands of titles available for streaming, MGM+ is available nationwide through cable, telco, satellite, emerging digital distribution channels, its MGM+ app, and all new Fire TV device purchases come with a six-month MGM+ subscription courtesy of Amazon. For more information about the current MGM+ lineup, go to www.mgmplus.com or follow on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.