A Primetime True-Crime Spree

Cable and broadcast network audiences can’t seem to get enough of true crime all the time. For programmers, crime pays like no other genre; they are offering more homicides than ever — real murders, not those conjured by Hollywood scriptwriters. The documentary accounts of husbands slaying wives, strangers killing for sex or money, and people on drugs committing murder for more drugs have become a staple of weekly network television through series like 48 Hours Mysteries on CBS on Saturday nights and Dateline on NBC on Friday nights.