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Andrea Canning Feels The Rising Interest In True Crime All Started With Dateline

Andrea Canning knows her true crime. Spending the years she has as a journalist for "Dateline" has acquainted her quite well with all of the very real and very horrible acts human beings are capable of. Some of the stories Canning has reported have been among the very best of "Dateline," including "Deep in the Woods" and "The Alibi."

And while Canning impressively juggles more than one job — she's also a screenwriter who has written several movies for Hallmark and Lifetime (via Hello!) — "Dateline" seems to be the most demanding. She also seems eager to give credit where credit is due to her home news magazine program. In a video interview Canning did with SlingTV alongside fellow "Dateline" correspondent Josh Mankiewicz, both were asked what they thought was the show's biggest contribution to the true crime genre.

"Just the name 'Dateline' is now the most synonymous name with true crime," Canning replied. "I mean, if you watch any movie, TV show, pop culture, you know, you don't hear them say — I'm not gonna say the other names — but you don't hear them say those. You hear 'Dateline, Dateline, Dateline.'"

Seeing the mystery unfold

Judging from the same interview, it would seem that not everyone was expecting the true crime boom, including Josh Mankiewicz. "I didn't see the true crime wave coming when I joined, 27 years ago," he marveled. Nonetheless, Mankiewicz is similarly eager to make sure "Dateline" is recognized for its role. Though it's not clear whether Andrea Canning did see it coming — who really can say that they are able to predict pop culture trends? — she does seem pretty clear about how her program's approach to crime as storytelling has influenced the way audiences view and appreciate the genre. In 2021, she did an interview with Town & Country magazine where the very first question was about why viewers feel they have such a connection to true crime.

"I think people are interested in true crime in general because they love to see a mystery unfold from beginning to end," responded Canning. "We all have the curiosity. So many families look perfect from the outside, but there's so many secrets behind those walls." If the amount of true crime documentaries and docuseries on streamers like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and others is any indication, this is an interest that isn't going away anytime soon.