A Princess Diana Documentary Is In The Works

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It was announced Monday that a Princess Diana miniseries is in the works, so that might the next topic to be unearthed and reexamined from every angle. First it was O.J. Simpson, then it was JonBenét Ramsey, and this new show could be our early sign into the pop cultural pulse of 2017.

The project will be four hours in total, airing over two nights, and is a collaboration between ABC and People combining modern day interviews with people who were close with the late Princess of Wales, statements from experts, and archival footage. The idea to revisit the topic reportedly came from the fact that 2017 represents the 20th anniversary of the People's Princess' untimely death at just 36 years old, but the project will delve into more than just her death. In fact, it will explore her life and her legacy, for those who might not be old enough to remember either one.

Both People and ABC anticipate that that audience will be a large one, since Princess Diana is still an iconic figure, even two decades after her death. It's more or less exactly like how O.J. Simpson has only grown in infamy, and the mystery surrounding JonBenét's murder has only deepened in the years since they and their stories were in the public eye. Audiences have proven that they will leap at the chance to reexamine a pivotal moment in our shared cultural experience, and Princess Diana seems a fitting subject for our 2017 fixation.

As People's Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle shared in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter:

Princess Diana has appeared on the cover of People 57 times — more than anyone in the history of the [magazine]. Our audience has an insatiable appetite for news about the royal family; in fact, they are just as fascinated today as they were when Lady Diana was first introduced to the world back in 1981.
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This sounds very similar to the way that we discussed Simpson and Ramsey's cases when they were pored over in 2016, and the public's fixation only intensified with the multiple takes on the same subject. This makes me more convinced than ever that Princess Diana will be the next figure to occupy our national interest, as far as pop culture goes, anyway.

This particular miniseries will air in August — no specific date has yet been announced — and I'd be genuinely surprised if it's the only project of its kind to be released in the months surrounding this momentous anniversary.