REELZ today announced new programming for June 2020 with new specials about megahit movies Top Gun and Back to the Future as the time-travelling sensation marks its 35th anniversary along with new series Serial Psyche and new episodes of returning original series Autopsy: The Last Hours of… and World’s Most Evil Killers.
“With premieres every week in June we’re excited to show our viewers new stories from looking at two of the biggest blockbusters ever in Top Gun and Back to the Future to celebrating the legendary lives of TV and movie stars adored by millions of fans across the world,” said Steve Cheskin, SVP of Programming at REELZ. “Our June premieres also show the real stories of the most sinister among us whose devious acts define true crime.”
June premieres begin with a look at the life of beloved TV star Desi Arnaz in Autopsy: The Last Hours of… “Desi Arnaz” on Sunday, June 7 at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT examining whether the I Love Lucy star’s relentless work ethic might have played a role in his untimely passing. Then on Sunday, June 7 at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT it’s Autopsy: The Last Hours of… “Patty Duke” spotlights Duke’s stellar career in movies, TV, and theater and examines her passing from a rare intestinal rupture.
From the towering achievements of Arnaz and Duke to the wicked deeds of a deranged few it’s the premiere of a new original series Serial Psyche on Friday, June 12 at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT taking viewers deep into the minds of cold-blooded murderers to unravel their twisted mentalities. Then on Friday, June 12 at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT it’s the return of original documentary series World’s Most Evil Killers with new gripping real stories about two terrifying criminals in the “Riverside Killer” William Suff and “Murderous Son” Stephen Seddon.
Sunday June 14 sees two back-to-back new episodes of Autopsy: The Last Hours of… with Adam West at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT followed immediately by Bill Bixby at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT. West played the iconic superhero Batman in the original 1960s TV series to worldwide acclaim and even at 88 years old was living a fit and healthy life but after a Leukemia diagnosis his sudden decline was as rapid as it was mysterious. Bixby had achieved the distinction of starring in hit shows for four decades with My Favorite Martian in the 1960s, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father in the 1970s, The Incredible Hulk in the 1980s and Blossom in the 1990s before his sudden passing at just 59 years old.
Then on Sunday, June 21 at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT it’s Top Gun: Behind Closed Doors about the high-flying ’80s smash hit that made Tom Cruise a global superstar and gave moviegoers an inside look at the secret world of U.S. Navy fighter pilots. Wrapping up June premieres is Back to the Future: Behind Closed Doors on Sunday, June 28 at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT with stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson among others sharing their stories of the magic that made one of the most beloved blockbusters of all time.
Below are descriptions for new June 2020* programming listed in order of premiere date and time:
Autopsy: The Last Hours of… “Desi Arnaz” – New episode premieres Sunday, June 7 at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT. Desi Arnaz was famous for playing the beloved character Ricky Ricardo in the 1950s TV series I Love Lucy. Nearly 30 years later in the early hours of December 2, 1986 Arnaz died at 69 years old. Born in Cuba, Arnaz and his family exiled to Miami following the 1933 revolution when he was just 16 years old. Starting from zero his drive to succeed saw Arnaz rise to fame and attract attention as the bongo-playing leader of a Latin orchestra. With his charisma and boyish good looks he soon won the heart of up and coming movie star Lucille Ball. Together they would change the face of TV with I Love Lucy and later form their own production company Desilu where Arnaz became one of the most powerful people in the TV industry. But did his meteoric success and relentless work habits play a part in his downfall? Now, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter uses the death certificate, first-hand reports and access to vast archives to uncover the facts behind the sad demise of Arnaz and what really led to his passing. Autopsy: The Last Hours of… is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
Autopsy: The Last Hours of… “Patty Duke” – New episode premieres Sunday, June 7 at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT. On March 29, 2016 the world was saddened by the news that American sweetheart Patty Duke had died. As Hollywood’s original child star she had been charming audiences for more than 60 years. Duke overcame a childhood of deprivation and abuse to become a household name and in 1963 she became the then youngest actress to win an Academy Award(R) for her career-defining role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. She went on to star in The Patty Duke Show delighting TV audiences playing identical twin cousins. It seemed nothing could stop her but in her late teens Duke’s life began to unravel. She drank heavily, spent money wildly and became promiscuous. Sadly, she also attempted suicide many times. Duke was diagnosed with a mental illness in her mid-30s and once under control she became a pioneering spokeswoman for mental health issues for the rest of her life. She died at the age of 69 of complications due to a ruptured intestine. Intestinal ruptures are considered rare and with surgical intervention there’s a reasonable survival rate so what really happened to Duke? Renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter analyzes every detail in Duke’s limited health information available to piece together what else was going on in her body to find answers. Autopsy: The Last Hours of… is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
Serial Psyche “Sexual Sadists” – New episode premieres Friday, June 12 at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT. These killers are psychopaths addicted to the thrill of inflicting pain before killing their victims. This episode contrasts the twisted psyches of two of history’s most heartless serial murderers in David Parker Ray and Dennis Rader. Ray was known as the “Toy Box Killer” due to his use of an RV trailer on his property where he performed unspeakable horrors. While Ray operated under the radar for decades not all psychopathic sexual sadists enjoy lurking in the shadows and some crave the media spotlight like Dennis Rader who gave himself the gruesome moniker “Blind Torture Kill” (BTK). Rader was a church-going family man respected in his Wichita Kansas community but he also brutally murdered at least 10 people and the hunt to find him lasted more than 30 years. Sharing first-hand accounts of the David Parker Ray case is retired New Mexico State Police Captain Rich Libicer along with crime experts Dr. Michael H. Stone and Dr. Gary Brucato among others. Serial Psyche is produced by KM+BM Media.
World’s Most Evil Killers “Riverside Killer” – New episode premieres Friday, June 12 at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT. During the late ’80s in Riverside California 41-year-old Bill Suff was known as model employee during the day but he hid his true identity in the dark of night. The friendly guy next door was in fact a monster who became known as the “Riverside Prostitute Killer”. He would lure sex workers into his van under false pretenses where he would stab, strangle and often mutilate his victims before dumping their bodies. Suff had a history of violence and had already spent time in jail for the murder of his two-month-old baby. He was eventually found guilty of 12 of the 13 murders and sentenced to death in 1995. Viewers will hear from Suff’s ex-wife Teryl about the terrifying moment she found out her husband had killed their baby and the devastation that followed. Also sharing their experiences with the case are Detective Christine Keers-Sheffield, Senior Investigating Officer Bob Creed and Forensic Scientist Steve Secofsky. World’s Most Evil Killers is produced by Woodcut Media Ltd.
Autopsy: The Last Hours of… “Adam West” – New episode premieres Sunday, June 14 at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT. With an acting career spanning more than 50 years Adam West, who played the original and classic Batman in the hit 1960s TV series, was a Hollywood legend. He was also acclaimed for his starring role in the animated series Family Guy from the 1990s until his death in 2017. He died just days after being diagnosed with the blood and bone cancer Leukemia. With timely treatment, some Leukemia patients can live for five years or more after a diagnosis so what happened to West? Using his death certificate alongside testimonies of those who knew him renowned pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter sifts through evidence from West’s life to find the answer. Autopsy: The Last Hours of… is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
Autopsy: The Last Hours of… “Bill Bixby” – New episode premieres Sunday, June 14 at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT. Bill Bixby was a legendary actor, director, and producer who starred in hit shows for four decades with My Favorite Martian in the 1960s, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father in the 1970s, The Incredible Hulk in the 1980s and Blossom in the 1990s. But his celebrated performances hid a life of heartache and in his final three years he tried to mask his suffering from prostate cancer. At the time this was a disease that killed a very small percentage of those diagnosed and now renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter investigates why this seemingly fit and healthy man died from such a treatable illness at the age of just 59. Autopsy: The Last Hours of… is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
Serial Psyche “Cold and Calculating Killers” – New episode premieres Friday, June 19 at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT. What motivates a serial killer? For some it’s sheer hatred for humankind while others seek revenge for an abusive childhood or who simply kill for their own personal sick thrill. This episode examines Israel Keyes, Anatoly Onoprienko and Dennis Nilsen. Keyes became known as the “Meticulous Serial Killer” for his methodic efforts to conceal his crimes spanning 14 years. Onoprienko became known as the “Beast of Ukraine” after his shocking admission to killing 52 people over a span of 20 years while Nilsen terrorized the United Kingdom in the late 1970s killing several young men. All three were noted by authorities for displaying no observable psychosis and lived parallel normal lives. Serial Psyche is produced by KM+BM Media.
World’s Most Evil Killers “Murderous Son (Stephen Seddon)” – New episode premieres Friday, June 19 at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT. On the July 6, 2012 in Manchester England 68-year-old Robert Seddon and his wife 65-year-old Patricia were found shot dead at their home. At first glance police thought Robert had killed his wife then committed suicide but forensic evidence revealed a more sinister plot. The murderer was in fact their 45-year-old son Stephen Seddon. Stephen had a history of petty crime and conning people out of money and it made him a millionaire but he was eventually exposed and was sentenced to a year in prison for fraud. Upon his release having lost his millions Stephen thought of a new way to get rich – kill his parents and claim his inheritance. He initially tried to them and his nephew in a car crash in March 2012 but the plan failed so he hatched another more brutal act. Using a shotgun he mercilessly shot his parents dead at their home and staged a murder-suicide scene but he was eventually caught and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Sharing their experiences with the story are BBC reporter Stuart Flinders, Press Association reporter Pat Hurst and Senior Firearms Scientist André Horne. World’s Most Evil Killers is produced by Woodcut Media Ltd.
Top Gun: Behind Closed Doors – New special premieres Sunday, June 21 at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT. Based on real stories told by U.S. Navy fighter pilots Top Gun had it all: rising young stars, daring on-screen action, a love story, and the perfect soundtrack. Top Gun catapulted Tom Cruise into super stardom and helped launched the careers of a band of young stars including Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins. With mega-producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer at the helm and the visionary eye of director Tony Scott Top Gun put audiences where they’d never been – inside the cockpit of fighter jets through striking aerial footage. Now more than 30 years later and ahead of the highly-anticipated release of its sequel Top Gun: Maverick this Behind Closed Doors is an inside look at the American classic that was almost never made. The movie faced a mountain of challenges including the tragic death of famed stunt pilot Art Scholl during production. Initially dismissed by a number of critics Top Gun made its way into pop culture and became the highest-grossing movie of 1986. Behind Closed Doors is produced by Peacock Productions.
Back to the Future: Behind Closed Doors – New special premieres Sunday, June 28 at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT. Considered today to be one of the most successful movies of the 20th century it’s almost impossible to imagine that Back To The Future was rejected more than 40 times by Hollywood studios before finally being made. The unlikely hit spawned two sequels, an animated series, a theme park ride, and a musical. It also made household names out of its cast thrusting Christopher Lloyd, Crispin Glover, and Lea Thompson into the spotlight while solidifying Michael J. Fox as one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. Back To The Future: Behind Closed Doors tells the inside story of the improbably series of events that got the movie off the ground as the crew grappled with budget overruns, an overly ambitious schedule and unusual casting change that rocked the production. At the time nobody could have predicted the impact the movie would have but it became the highest-grossing movie of 1985 and would captivate audiences around the world for generations to come. Behind Closed Doors is produced by Peacock Productions.